On January 27, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Inlyta to treat patients with a type of advanced kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma).
The American Cancer Society’s estimates about 64,770 new cases of kidney cancer and about 13,570 deaths from kidney cancer in the U.S. in 2012. Of these, an estimated 720 new cases will be diagnosed and an estimated 140 deaths will occur in Connecticut. Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults.
Surgery is the primary treatment for most kidney cancers. Patients who are not surgical candidates have the option of ablation therapy, a procedure that uses heat or cold to destroy the tumor. Unfortunately, kidney cancer tends to be resistant to both traditional chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
However, new targeted therapies are being studied that control cancer growth by blocking the tumor’s blood supply or through other mechanisms. Since 2005, six of these agents have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of kidney cancer: sorafenib (Nexavar, in 2005), sunitinib (Sutent, in 2006), temsirolimus (Torisel, in 2007), everolimus (Afinitor, in 2009), bevacizumab (Avastin, in 2009), and pazopanib (Votrient, in 2009).
“Collectively, this unprecedented level of drug development within this time period has significantly altered the treatment paradigm of metastatic kidney cancer, and offers patients multiple treatment options,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
Inlyta is a twice-a-day pill from Pfizer, Inc. (Groton, Connecticut). Inlyta works by blocking certain proteins called kinases that play a role in tumor growth and cancer progression.