ARTICLE | Product Development

Cancer test bed

July 19, 2004 7:00 AM UTC

For patients with renal cell carcinoma, few treatment options exist beyond surgical removal of the kidney. The only approved drug for metastatic RCC is Proleukin aldesleukin, a recombinant version of interleukin-2 from Chiron Corp. (CHIR, Emeryville, Calif.), but its efficacy is limited and side effects can be severe. The same poor performance is shown by interferon alpha, which is used off label.

As a result, the disease is an attractive target for companies developing cancer treatments, and the variety of approaches provides a microcosm of cancer therapy trends. More than a dozen companies have reached Phase II and III trials, and the first approval could come early next year in Europe...