Advanced DSNs: sodium cantharidinate/B6 shows benefit

  • Drug Des Devel Ther

  • curated by Jim Kling
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • In patients with advanced digestive system neoplasms (DSNs), sodium cantharidinate plus vitamin B6 (SC/B6) combined with conventional medical treatment (CMT) achieved better response rates, disease control rate, and QoL than CMT alone.
  • SC/B6 is a less toxic derivative of a traditional Chinese medicine compound derived from the body of insects, which inhibits tumor growth, blocks cell cycle progression, and inhibits metastasis, among other effects.

Why this matters

  • DSNs tend to have poor prognoses because the disease is often diagnosed after cancer has spread.

Study design

  • Meta-analysis of 24 trials, including gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, liver cancer, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer (n=1825).
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results   

  • Combined treatment was associated with improved complete response rate (OR, 2.06; P=.0002), partial response rate (OR, 1.85; P<.00001 overall response rate p and disease control>
  • Treatment was associated with lower rates of stable disease (OR, 0.77; P=.009) and progressive disease (OR, 0.45; P<.00001>
  • A forest plot analysis showed combined treatment was associated with improved QoL (OR, 2.75; P<.00001>
  • The frequency of various adverse effects were lower in the combined treatment group.

Limitations

  • Short follow-up durations.
  • Regional bias.

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