New Clinical Trial for Liver Cancer Patients

GAINESVILLE - A new clinical trial is underway in Florida for patients who suffer from advanced liver cancer and cirrhosis. University of Florida researchers are looking at whether the dosage of a chemotherapy drug could be adjusted for these patients, so they suffer fewer side effects. [audio:|titles=Sorafenib|artists=Lhee]

Doctors usually prescribe the pill Sorafenib to patients diagnosed with advanced liver cancer. It’s not a cure, but it allows them to live 3 to 4 months longer, on average, than untreated patients.

But researchers saw the recommended dosage was too high for many liver cancer patients, especially for those also with cirrhosis. These patients often suffer severe side effects from Sorafenib pills.

So, UF researcher Ron Cabrera thought of another strategy to deliver the drug.

"Perhaps by slowly introducing the number of pills, as opposed to starting the patient on full dose, we could actually improve the tolerance of the pill and lessen the severity of the side effects," Cabrera said.

The clinical trial is being carried out at multiple sites in Florida. It’s being funded by Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - the makers of this chemotherapy drug. [ | FPR Spot]