Tumor stunting drug grows to fight multiple types of cancer

By Tona KunzOctober 3, 2012

A successful drug for fighting advanced kidney cancer has been approved for use against soft tissue sarcoma.

The drug, Votrient, targets cancer by stunting tumor growth and was developed by scientists working with the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.

In April 2012, it was approved to treat advanced soft tissue sarcoma, which is a cancer that begins in the muscle, fat and fibrous tissues. About 10,000 cases occur annually in the U.S., according to the FDA.

Votrient got its start with FDA approval in 2009 to treat advanced kidney cancer. About 65,000 new cases of kidney cancer occur annually in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society.

The research, which led to the development of the drug by GlaxoSmithKline, was undertaken in 2008 at an X-ray laboratory supported and operated by industry at the APS called Industrial Macromolecular Crystallography Association Collaborative Access Team. Votrient is an angiogenesis inhibitor, which interferes with the growth of new blood vessels needed for solid cancer tumors to survive.