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Roche says Phase II trial supports twin treatment for kidney cancer

VIENNA, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Swiss pharmaceuticals company Roche said on Saturday that a combination of its immunotherapy drug Tecentriq and its blockbuster cancer drug Avastin had shown encouraging results in a Phase II trial in treating a type of kidney cancer.

The study found that the combination had a "manageable safety profile" when used for locally advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). The tests showed promising effectiveness compared with the standard treatment for mRCC, sunitinib, which is sold by Pfizer under the brand name Sutent.

"These Phase II results support the scientific rationale for potentially combining Tecentriq and Avastin in people with this type of kidney cancer," Roche said in a statement.

Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer, the company said, adding that currently only about one in 10 people live more than five years after being diagnosed with the disease.

Roche said it was also evaluating the same combination treatment, again compared with sunitinib, in a Phase III study in people with previously untreated, locally advanced or metastatic RCC.

(Reporting by Francois Murphy, editing by Ed Osmond)