Therapy round-up

A recent, albeit early, study found that a combination of two Genentech drugs, Tecentriq (atezolizumab) and Avastin (bevacizumab), reduced the risk of disease worsening or death as an initial treatment in some individuals with advanced kidney cancer. Genentech is a division of Roche, and is headquartered in South San Francisco, CA.

Compared with Sutent (sunitinib; Pfizer, New York, NY), the combination treatment provided a statistically significant and clinically meaningful co-primary endpoint result in kidney cancer patients whose disease expressed the biomarker PD-L1 protein. The co-primary endpoint was investigator-assessed, progression-free survival for the first-line treatment of individuals with advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

Another study found that a group of diabetic patients with chronic kidney disease who received treatment for type 2 diabetes fared better with the drug metformin compared with sulfonylurea. The observational study used data from electronic pharmacy records of the US Veterans Health Administration.

Among 175,296 new users (veterans) of either a metformin or sulfonylurea monotherapy, 5121 deaths were observed (1).

Metformin monotherapy across all ranges of estimated glomerular filtration rate evaluated was associated with a lower mortality hazard ratio than sufonylurea monotherapy, the researchers found. An analysis of mortality risk differences also favored metformin. The largest absolute risk reduction was found in the group with moderately to severely reduced kidney function.

January 2018 (Vol. 10, Number 1)


1. Marcum ZA, et al. J Gen Intern Med 2017 doi