FDA approves new drug for deadly kidney cancer

Mar 30, 2009

(AP) -- A drug from Novartis has won U.S. approval as a treatment for patients with kidney cancer that has returned after treatment with older drugs.

The approved the pill on Monday to treat renal cell cancer, the most common form of cancer.

The agency said patients tested with Novartis' Afinitor lived more than twice as long without as those who didn't receive the . The study by the Swiss drugmaker showed Afinitor delayed tumor growth nearly 5 months, compared with less than two months for patients not taking the drug.

Afinitor works by blocking a protein that helps divide and grow. The drug was approved for patients who have already taken Inc.'s Sutent and Bayer's Nexavar.

Kidney cancer is resistant to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and the most effective remedy is usually to surgically remove the kidney. When the cancer is isolated to the kidney, a majority of patients will survive at least five years. If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, the survival rate is much shorter.

About 13,000 patients died from the disease last year, according to the American Cancer Society.

Basel, Switzerland-based has submitted the drug for approval in the European Union, Japan and elsewhere.

Shares of Novartis fell 47 cents to close at $36.55 Monday.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: More than a quarter of emergency contraceptives in Peru falsified or substandard

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

FDA OKs vitamin C trial for cancer

Jan 12, 2007

Federal approval of a clinical trial on intravenous vitamin C as a cancer treatment lends credence to alternative cancer care, U.S. researchers said.

Recommended for you

Study recalculates costs of combination vaccines

Apr 17, 2014

One of the most popular vaccine brands for children may not be the most cost-effective choice. And doctors may be overlooking some cost factors when choosing vaccines, driving the market toward what is actually a more expensive ...

Drug watchdog urges vigilance in cancer drug theft

Apr 17, 2014

Europe's medicine watchdog urged doctors Thursday to be vigilant in administering the cancer drug Herceptin, vials of which had been stolen in Italy and tampered with before being sold back into the supply chain.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...