April 13, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TWO NOVEL DRUGS RECOMMENDED TO BE APPROVED TO TREAT PANCREATIC NEUROENDOCRINE TUMORS
MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. -- (April 13, 2011) -- The Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) voted on April 12, 2011 to recommend that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve two drugs in the treatment of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Neuroendocrine tumors represent less than five percent of all pancreatic cancer diagnoses, and typically grow slower and have a longer survival rate than the more commonly diagnosed form of pancreatic cancer, pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
“This is extremely encouraging news that there are potentially two new courses of treatment for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors,” stated Julie Fleshman, president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
The drugs being discussed are Sutent® (sunitinib) and Afinitor® (everolimus), made by the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Novartis, respectively. Sutent® and Afinitor® are both designed to target specific proteins that are especially active within the cancer cells, and not necessary for the growth of normal cells. Both drugs have already been approved by the FDA for treatment of other cancer types. Clinical trials that evaluated these drugs in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor patients showed enough promise that the ODAC is recommending that the FDA approve them for this disease as well. Although the FDA seeks guidance from ODAC and other advisory committees prior to approving each drug, the final decision is made by the FDA and is still pending.
“The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network encourages all patients to consider clinical trials when exploring treatment options. These new developments underscore the importance of clinical trials in the research process, as they represent an important step towards improved survival rates for patients.” added Fleshman.
To learn more about 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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