June 3, 2006

Glaxo’s Tykerb helps some with kidney cancer: study

ATLANTA (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline's experimental pill
Tykerb helped some patients with advanced kidney cancer live
longer, French researchers reported on Saturday.

No difference in survival was seen for the overall group of
416 patients studied, said scientists at University Hospital of

A benefit was seen, however, in 241 of those patients who
had tumors that produced the highest amounts of a protein
called EGFR, which helps tumor cells grow and divide. Patients
in that group who took Tykerb survived an average of 46 weeks,
compared with 38 weeks for others who received standard
hormonal therapy.

Tykerb targets EGFR, which is found in several types of

The patients who took part in the Glaxo-sponsored trial had
an advanced form of kidney cancer known as renal cell
carcinoma. Before the study they were treated with standard
therapies but their cancers continued to grow.

Common side effects in Tykerb patients included rash and
minor or moderate diarrhea.

The findings were released at an annual meeting of the
American Society of Clinical Oncology. Tykerb is known
generically as lapatinib.