New cancer therapies at international conference in Amsterdam

4th International Symposium on Targeted Anticancer Therapies

Amsterdam/Lugano, March 16, 2006 - The 4th International Symposium on Targeted Anticancer Therapies (TAT 2006), to be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, March 16-18, 2006, co-organized by the NDDO Research Foundation and the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), provides updates on emerging new therapies for the treatment of cancer. Several new, so-called targeted anticancer agents are likely to be approved for use in daily practice in the near future. The ones that seem closest to obtaining marketing approval in the European Union are sorafenib (Nexavar®) and sunitinib (Sutent®). Both are being developed for kidney cancer (renal cell cancer) and have recently been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. European marketing applications are under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMEA).

Sorafenib and sunitinib block specific target molecules that are important for tumor growth and development. They are considered real breakthroughs in the treatment of advanced kidney cancer, a disease that is difficult to treat with currently available drugs. No new drugs for kidney cancer have been introduced in the past ten years. At TAT 2006, sorafenib and sunitinib will be reviewed extensively, in particular by Professor Martin Gore of the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, who will present a keynote lecture on emerging treatments for kidney cancer during the Opening Ceremony on March 16.

Many targeted anticancer therapies, covering a wide variety of targets in tumor tissue or the tumor's environment, are the subject of extensive research and development activities worldwide. Many targeted agents are being tested in clinical trials and are showing promising results in patients with different types of cancers. Several targeted agents have already been approved for cancer therapy by regulatory agencies worldwide, including, but not limited to, bevacizumab (Avastin®), cetuximab (Erbitux®) and erlotinib (Tarceva®). Updates on these agents and many others in earlier stages of the development pipeline are provided during the TAT symposium.

The TAT 2006 program also extensively covers methodological issues in the development of targeted anticancer agents. Since these agents have fundamentally different biological characteristics compared to conventional chemotherapy, they require new ways of clinical testing. A group of experts from the world's leading academic institutes, pharmaceutical companies and regulatory agencies will convene before the start of TAT 2006 to prepare recommendations on the best way to develop targeted agents for the treatment of cancer. A verbal report from this task force, named MDICT (Methodology for the Development of Innovative Cancer Therapies) Task Force, will be presented in the TAT 2006 main meeting on March 18.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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