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FDA approves prostate cancer drug


A prostate cancer chemotherapy drug which could extend the lives of men who are not responding to other treatments by up to 10 weeks has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US.

Jevtana, produced by French firm Sanofi-Aventis, has been given the green light to treat prostate cancer which is not affected by hormone-deprivation treatments or docetaxel, the drug most used to fight prostate tumours. It is to be used in combination with the steroid prednisone, a commonly-used cancer treatment.

Research showed that patients who took Jevtana lived, on average, for about a year and three months after treatment started. Those on standard treatment lived for about a year and three weeks. Patients on Jevtana as opposed to conventional treatment were more likely to see their tumours shrink, although no-one experienced a complete remission or disappearance of the disease.

The drug, which is given by injection, could be available in the summer, according to Sanofi-Aventis.

Richard Pazdur, director of the FDA’s Office of Oncology Drug Products, said: “Patients have few therapeutic options in this disease setting.”

Copyright Press Association 2010
Food and Drug Administration

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