Thanks to a new treatment for kidney cancer, kidney cancer patients may soon be able to live with this previously incurable and fatal disease.
- For nearly fifteen years, Dr. Pagès and his team have been working to develop a treatment for kidney cancer.
- Dr. Gilles Pagès received the prize from the Amgen France Fund for Science and Humans for the discovery of this treatment for kidney cancer
There were 15,323 new cases of kidney cancer in 2018 in France, 67% of them in men, according to Public health France. Over the same period, the estimated number of deaths was 5,589, with always a higher propensity in men (68%). The mortality rate linked to this disease is high: the main reason is that there is currently no cure. The solutions offered to patients only allow the symptoms to be reduced, but not to act on the evil.
A treatment that targets the VEGF protein
But that could soon change. A team of researchers has just discovered a new treatment which makes it possible to delay the advance of the disease. Specifically, the researchers developed a molecule that targets VEGF. This is a protein that makes blood vessels to feed the cancerous tumor. Their function is to provide it with nutrients and oxygen. Thus, the tumor can continue to grow.
“Make this disease a curable disease”
By targeting VEGF, the molecule that has just been developed inhibits its growth. “She (the molecule) is also effective for tumor models unresponsive to immunotherapy [qui vise à induire ou amplifier la réponse immunitaire anticancéreuse]explains Dr. Gilles Pagès, research director at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) and team leader at the Cancer and Aging Institute (Ircan) in Nice (Alpes-Maritimes) the newspaper 20 minutes. Our treatment, combined with those that already exist, will hopefully make this disease curable. But just to be able to make it a chronic disease and allow patients to live, it is an immense pride”.
Still a lot of clinical trials before marketing
But the procedure is still long before the drug can be marketed. “We are currently in the regulatory toxicology phases, which will be finalized by the end of 2022, or even the beginning of 2023, details Dr. Gilles Pagès. Then, we must submit the treatment to the health authorities of the European Medicines Agency, with a first clinical trial in 2023. Depending on its validation, without toxicity in a patient, we go to phase 2 with more patients then the phase 3 and the blind trial”. In addition to kidney cancer, the researchers discovered that their treatment could also help to cure other diseases such as certain ENT cancers.