Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A trial looking at a drug called naptumomab estafenatox alongside interferon for advanced renal cell cancer
This trial was looking at a drug called naptumomab estafenatox (also known as ABR-217620) alongside interferon for a type of kidney cancer called renal cell cancer. It was for people who had renal cell cancer that could not be removed with surgery or had spread to another part of the body.
If renal cell cancer can’t be removed with surgery, or has spread to another part of the body, you may have biological therapy.
Interferon is a type of biological therapy that doctors can use. In this trial, researchers were looking at another type of biological therapy called naptumomab estafenatox.
Naptumomab estafenatox is made of 2 proteins. The first one recognises renal cancer cells. The second one stimulates the immune system to attack the cancer cells.
The aim of this trial was to see if people with advanced renal cell cancer who had a combination of naptumomab estafenatox and interferon lived longer than people who had interferon alone.
Summary of results
Overall, people who had naptumomab estafenatox and interferon didn’t live longer than people who had interferon alone.
The trial recruited 513 people who were put into groups by computer. Neither they, nor their doctors could decide which group they were in. This is called randomisation.
The people taking part had 1 of the following treatments
- Naptumomab estafenatox and interferon
- Interferon alone
The researchers looked at the average length of time people lived without any signs of their disease getting worse. Researchers call this progression free survival. They found that on average, progression free survival was just under 6 months for people in both groups.
They also looked at the length of time people lived overall. They call this overall survival. They found that on average, it was over 17 months for people in both groups.
But the researchers could see that in some patients, both progression free survival and overall survival were longer when people had the combination of both drugs. They suggest there should be more studies looking at naptumomab estafenatox with other drugs in certain sub groups of patients.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Professor Robert Hawkins
Active Biotech AB