Results from a randomized phase 3 trial of Sutent (sunitinib malate) indicate that patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours are able to live longer if they take the medication as compared with patients treated with placebo, Pfizer Inc has announced.
"This trial advances our understanding of the use of novel targeted therapies in a patient population with limited treatment options," said Dr. Mace Rothenberg, senior vice president of clinical development and medical affairs for Pfizer's Oncology Business Unit. "We are pleased to be working toward filling an unmet patient need, as we did with Sutent four years ago in patients with kidney cancer and gastrointestinal stromal tumours."
In February 2009, an independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) had suggested that the trial be halted as the drug showed significant benefits for patients with pancreatic cancer. Pfizer has filed applications with the regulatory bodies in US, Europe and Canada asking for permission to sell the drug for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours.
The details of the phase 3 study were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.