Eli Lilly and Company has announced positive data from its Phase II study of cixutumumab in five subtypes of sarcoma, a cancer related to connective tissues.

The Phase II trial included 113 patients with advanced or metastatic soft tissue sarcoma and in the Ewing family of tumours, and demonstrated that 57% of patients taking cixutumumab experienced stable disease.

The study was evaluated in five tiers and the overall response was reported as one partial response in the Ewing sarcoma tier, stable disease of 41% in leiomyosarcoma, 35% in synovial sarcoma, 28% in Ewing family of tumours and 24% in rhabdomyosarcoma.

The treatment-related adverse affects include hyperglycaemia, asthenia, pain and thrombocytopenia.

Cixutumumab is a monoclonal antibody that targets the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor, which plays a major role in cancer cell proliferation, survival and resistance to therapy.