Medical News and Perspectives
July 18, 2007

Cancer Drug Trials Show Modest Benefit

JAMA. 2007;298(3):273-275. doi:10.1001/jama.298.3.273

Chicago—Often with the odds stacked against them, most phase 3 trials for cancer treatment do not report long-lasting effects for patients. But some find that drugs can add months or years to the lives of study participants, who typically have late-stage disease and few, if any, other options.

Such was the case in several recently completed phase 3 trials, 1 testing sorafenib for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), another evaluating cetuximab for head and neck cancer, and 2 assessing a drug called S-1 for combating gastric cancer. The trials' results were presented at the recent American Society of Clinical Oncology held here in June. Researchers and oncologists hope that the modest effects seen in these studies will be even greater if the drugs become available to patients with less advanced forms of cancer.

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