FDA Approves Novartis Drug Afinitor to Treat Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors

Home About the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network News / Press Center 2011 Press Releases FDA Approves Novartis Drug Afinitor to Treat Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors

May 20, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sutent© gains FDA approval to treat pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. -- (May 20, 2011) -- The Pfizer drug Sutent© (sunitinib) has been approved for the treatment of advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Sutent© is the second targeted drug to be approved this month for the treatment of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, which make up less than five percent of all pancreatic cancer diagnoses and are generally slower growing and less aggressive than the more common form of pancreatic cancer, pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

“The FDA approval today of Sutent©, and Afinitor© just two weeks ago, is a significant step forward for patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Treatment options for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors have not been well-established, so the news of two new drugs approved by the FDA is exciting,” stated Julie Fleshman, President and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

In order to gain approval, Sutent© underwent clinical trials in the U.S. and several other countries to show that the drug was effective and safe for patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Sutent© had previously been approved for the treatment of other cancer types, but needed to be tested specifically in patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. The Oncologic Drug Advisory Council recommended that both Sutent© and Afinitor© be approved for the treatment of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors in mid-April, 2011. Afinitor© was approved by the FDA on May 5.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network encourages all patients to consider clinical trials when exploring treatment options. For more information about ongoing clinical trials or other questions about pancreatic cancer diagnosis and treatment, or to learn more about pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, visit www.pancan.org.

About the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is the national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure. The organization is leading the way to increase the survival rate for people diagnosed with this devastating disease through a bold initiative–The Vision of Progress: Double the Pancreatic Cancer Survival Rate by 2020. Together, we can know, fight and end pancreatic cancer by intensifying our efforts to heighten awareness, raise funds for comprehensive private research, and advocate for dedicated federal research to advance early diagnostics, better treatments and increase chances of survival.

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CONTACT:
Faith See
Public Relations Specialist
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Direct: 310-706-3369
Email: fsee@pancan.org

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