Background: renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a potential target for anti-angiogenic drugs because of its high vascularization. Neovastat (AE-941) is an inhibitor of angiogenesis with a mechanism of action that could prove beneficial in the treatment of RCC. Patients and design A phase II trial was conducted to identify the long-term safety profile of Neovastat in advanced cancer patients and to obtain preliminary information on its efficacy in solid tumors refractory to standard treatments. Neovastat (60 or 240 ml/day) was administered orally (b.i.d.) to 144 patients with solid tumors refractory to standard therapies or for whom no standard treatments were available.
Results: A survival analysis was conducted on 22 patients with a primary diagnosis of refractory RCC to determine whether the dose of Neovastat had any effect. A significant relationship between dose and survival was observed; the median survival time was significantly longer (16.3 versus 7.1 months; P = 0.01) in patients treated with Neovastat 240 ml/day (n = 14) compared with patients receiving 60 ml/day (n = 8). No dose-limiting toxicity was reported. The most frequent adverse event was taste alteration (13.6%).
Conclusions: Neovastat is well tolerated by advanced cancer patients at doses of 60 and 240 ml/day. The higher dose of Neovastat administered in this trial is associated with a survival benefit in RCC, which is not explained by differences in major prognostic factors.