Researchers in America are looking at a new class of anti-cancer drug, called hypoxia inducible factor-2a (HIF-2a) inhibitors. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology initial findings with a novel drug belonging to the HIF-2a class of medicines show promise in treating metastatic kidney cancer.

In the study, 51 patients with aggressive kidney cancer that had received an average of four prior treatments, were given PT2385, the first HIF-2a inhibitor to be evaluated in clinical trials. PT2385 was found to block tumour growth for at least 4 months in 40 % of the patients. Furthermore, cancer growth was stopped for more than a year in 25 % of the patients, and side effects were minimal.

“The combination of activity and tolerability is very encouraging,” said Dr Kevin Courtney, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern’s Harold C Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. “We treated multiple patients on this trial in the Kidney Cancer Program at UT Southwestern, more than at any other institution. In our experience, this HIF-2a inhibitor offers a combination of safety and potential activity that is unique compared to current treatments for advanced kidney cancer.”


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