Study compares survival for treatments of uncommon eye cancer

June 17, 2014

In patients with advanced uveal melanoma, treatment with the agent selumetinib, compared with chemotherapy, resulted in an improved cancer progression-free survival time and tumor response rate, but no improvement in overall survival, according to a study in the June 18 issue of JAMA. The modest improvement in clinical outcomes was accompanied by a high rate of adverse events.

Uveal arises from melanocytes within the choroid layer of the eye. There are about 1,500 new cases of uveal melanoma per year in the U.S., which is biologically distinct from skin related melanoma. Selumetinib is an oral agent that may help to inhibit the growth of cancer cells by blocking MEK1/2. A subgroup analysis from an earlier trial that included 20 patients with uveal melanoma suggested favorable results with selumetinib treatment, according to background information in the article.

Richard D. Carvajal, M.D., of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and colleagues randomly assigned patients with metastatic uveal melanoma to receive selumetinib (n = 50; orally twice daily), or chemotherapy (n = 51; temozolomide, orally daily for 5 of every 28 days, or dacarbazine, intravenously every 21 days) until disease progression, death, intolerable adverse effects, or withdrawal of consent. After analysis of the primary outcome, 19 additional patients were registered and 18 treated with selumetinib without randomization, to complete the planned 120-patient enrollment. 1The researchers reported that the median progression-free survival time was 7 weeks in the chemotherapy group (median treatment duration, 8 weeks) and 15.9 weeks in the selumetinib group (median treatment duration, 16.1 weeks). The 4-month progression-free survival rate was 8.5 percent with chemotherapy, and 43.1 percent with selumetinib. Median overall survival time was 9.1 months with chemotherapy and 11.8 months with selumetinib, a difference that was not statistically significant.

Tumor regression was uncommon with chemotherapy, whereas 49 percent of patients randomized to selumetinib achieved tumor regression. Treatment-related were observed in 97 percent of patients treated with selumetinib, with 37 percent requiring at least 1 dose reduction. 1"In this hypothesis-generating study of with advanced uveal melanoma, selumetinib compared with resulted in a modestly improved progression-free survival time and rate of response; however, no improvement in overall survival was observed. Improvement in was accompanied by a high rate of adverse events." the authors conclude.

Explore further: New drug improves progression-free survival, shrinks tumors in rare cancer for first time

More information: DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.6096

Related Stories

New drug improves progression-free survival, shrinks tumors in rare cancer for first time

June 1, 2013
The experimental drug selumetinib is the first targeted therapy to demonstrate significant clinical benefit for patients with metastatic uveal melanoma, according to new Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center research presented ...

Study reports first success of targeted therapy in type of non-small cell lung cancer

May 31, 2012
A novel compound has become the first targeted therapy to benefit patients with the most common genetic subtype of lung cancer, an international clinical trial led by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other institutions ...

Researchers report first success of targeted therapy in most common non-small cell lung cancer

November 28, 2012
A new study by an international team of investigators led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists is the first to demonstrate that chemotherapy and a new, targeted therapy work better in combination than chemotherapy alone ...

ASCO: Trametinib improves survival in metastatic melanoma

June 5, 2012
(HealthDay) -- For patients with metastatic melanoma with activating mutations in serine-threonine protein kinase B-RAF (BRAF), treatment with the oral selective MEK inhibitor trametinib is associated with improved progression-free ...

Chemotherapy may be better for certain patients with advanced lung cancer

April 8, 2014
Among patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer without a mutation of a certain gene (EGFR), conventional chemotherapy, compared with treatment using epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors, was ...

Cancer drug improves survival in patients with metastatic melanoma

November 14, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Results of a University of Arizona Cancer Center's scientist-led clinical trial show that a drug already approved for breast and lung cancer improved progression-free survival in patients with metastatic ...

Recommended for you

Study provides insight into link between two rare tumor syndromes

August 22, 2017
UCLA researchers have discovered that timing is everything when it comes to preventing a specific gene mutation in mice from developing rare and fast-growing cancerous tumors, which also affects young children. This mutation ...

Retaining one normal BRCA gene in breast, ovarian cancers influences patient survival

August 22, 2017
Determining which cancer patients are likely to be resistant to initial treatment is a major research effort of oncologists and laboratory scientists. Now, ascertaining who might fall into that category may become a little ...

Clear link between heavy vitamin B intake and lung cancer

August 22, 2017
New research suggests long-term, high-dose supplementation with vitamins B6 and B12—long touted by the vitamin industry for increasing energy and improving metabolism—is associated with a two- to four-fold increased lung ...

Study identifies miR122 target sites in liver cancer and links a gene to patient survival

August 22, 2017
A new study of a molecule that regulates liver-cell metabolism and suppresses liver-cancer development shows that the molecule interacts with thousands of genes in liver cells, and that when levels of the molecule go down, ...

Zebrafish larvae could be used as 'avatars' to optimize personalized treatment of cancer

August 21, 2017
Portuguese scientists have for the first time shown that the larvae of a tiny fish could one day become the preferred model for predicting, in advance, the response of human malignant tumors to the various therapeutic drugs ...

Scientists discover vitamin C regulates stem cell function, curbs leukemia development

August 21, 2017
Not much is known about stem cell metabolism, but a new study from the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) has found that stem cells take up unusually high levels of vitamin C, which then ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.