Just over half of the patients from a phase 2 clinical trial looking at giving axitinib to shrink the kidney cancer tumour before surgery (neoadjuvant axitinib) have been looked at. In these 26 patients, kidney tumour size and complexity were significantly reduced. This enabled the patients to have partial nephrectomy, despite the tumours being complicated.
All 26 patients had complicated clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) tumours that were confirmed with a biopsy. All of the patients wanted to have a partial nephrectomy because they might have had to have dialysis if they had to have their whole kidney removed.
Treatment with axitinib before surgery resulted in significant reductions in average tumour size from 7.7 cm to 6.3 cm after axitinib treatment. Twenty (20) patients (76.9%) had a partial nephrectomy, while 5 patients had a radical nephrectomy because of the stage of their cancer.
In most patients, renal function was maintained. Two patients out of 26 had a reduction in renal function of 50% or more and one patient ended up on dialysis. The study is still ongoing and hopes to reach a target of 50 patients.