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New Cancer Drug Approved in Britain - Sutent Expensive But Effective in Fighting Tumors Two Ways - SMART Starve Tumors and Stop Growth

July 31st 2006

New Cancer Drug Approved in Britain - Sutent Expensive But Effective in Fighting Tumors Two Ways - SMART Starve Tumors and Stop Growth

Sutent

A new line of cancer killing drugs is being offered for sale in Britain today.  The so called “SMART” drug attacks tumors by starving them of nutrients and inhibiting the enzyme that signals cells to multiply.  The two-front approach may be better than the single approach now offered by the extremely successful drug Glivec. 

The UK based news agency, Times Online, says that the news drug, Sutent, is “one of the latest three Glivec-like drugs that are at various stages of development, and which cancer specialists expect to prove useful in treating different kinds of tumours.”

 

Glivec inhibits the enzyme that signals cells to multiply.  Since its introduction in 2001, Glivec has transformed the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia and a rare form of stomach cancer.  But there is hope for more cancers too.

The Times reported that “In trials against advanced kidney cancer that had not responded to conventional drugs, Sutent caused tumours to shrink in 40 per cent of patients, and in a further 28 per cent they stabilised.”

 

A study in the US showed that Sutent stopped the progression or shrank the tumors in half in 14 percent of patients with advanced breast cancer. The treatment is expensive, costing around $4,500 per month per patient.  The Times reported that the British health system (NHS) may limit its use to a second treatment only after another drug fails. 

 
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