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Industry Watch

Industry Watch

The following company announcements were made at ECCO/ESMO 2009 in Berlin:

Pfizer drugs prolong overall survival
Pfizer Oncology released data from a phase III trial for sunitinib (Sutent) for the treatment of progressive, well-differentiated pancreatic islet cell tumors (abstract 6501). Sunitinib prolonged median progression-free survival (PFS) compared with placebo (11.1 months vs 5.5 months). Pfi zer also reported positive long-term follow-up results from the Intergroup Exemestane Study (IES), which evaluated the clinical benefits of switching women to exemestane (Aromasin) after two to three years of tamoxifen compared with continuing women on tamoxifen for a full five years (abstract 5011). IES showed that exemestane prolonged overall survival in the ER-positive/unknown population, with a 14% reduction in the risk of dying (HR = 0.86; 95% CI: 0.75-0.99; P = .04).

Ovarian cancer drugs prove their efficacy
Schering-Plough announced results of a phase III clinical trial that combined carboplatin and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin ([PLD] Caelyx) for partially platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer. The PLD/carboplatin combination was superior to paclitaxel/carboplatin in terms of PFS and tolerance, and paralleled the results of the intent-to-treat population (abstract 18LBA).

Also, Morphotek/Eisai Corporation of North America announced preliminary data from a phase II trial that evaluated the safety and effi cacy of farletuzumab (MORAb-003) in platinum-sensitive epithelial ovarian cancer subjects experiencing their fi rst relapse. Farletuzumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets the folate receptor alpha, in combination with standard platinum and taxane chemotherapy, shrank or eliminated the tumor in 69.8% of subjects (abstract O8000).

Afi nitor, Zometa score in solid tumors
Novartis presented data on everolimus (Afi nitor) and zoledronic acid (Zometa). A phase II trial demonstrated that daily everolimus, with or without concomitant octreotide LAR, had antitumor activity in patients with low-intermediate grade pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors after failure of prior systemic chemotherapy (abstract 6514). In renal cancer, zoledronic acid paired with radiotherapy showed potential to restore function in bone affected by aggressive tumors and lowered the skeletal events (abstracts P7133 and P7138).

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