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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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: Drug research and development more efficient than expected

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

Drug research and development more efficient than expected

7 hours ago

Drug R&D costs have increased substantially in recent decades, while the number of new drugs has remained fairly constant, leading to concerns about the sustainability of drug R&D and question about the factors that could ...

Use new meningitis vaccines only for outbreaks

Feb 26, 2015

(AP)—A U.S. panel on Thursday recommended that two new meningitis vaccines only be used for rare outbreaks, resisting tearful pleas to give it routinely to teens and college students.

New antibiotic avycaz approved

Feb 26, 2015

(HealthDay)—The combination antibiotic Avycaz (ceftazidime-avibactam) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with complicated infections of the intra-abdominal area or urinary tract, ...

Tagging drugs to fight counterfeit medicines

Feb 25, 2015

The U.S. and other countries are enacting rules to clamp down on the sales of fake pharmaceuticals, which pose a public health threat. But figuring out a system to track and authenticate legitimate drugs still faces significant ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.