(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved the use of Pfizer Inc’s cancer drug Sutent to help prevent kidney cancer from returning following surgical removal of a kidney.
Sutent was approved in 2006 for patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors and advanced kidney cancer. It is also approved for patients with a certain type of pancreatic cancer.
The expanded approval allows Pfizer to market the drug for patients who have already had surgery to remove a kidney to reduce the risk of the cancer returning. It is the first treatment to be used in this setting.
A clinical trial showed that after five years, 59.3 percent of patients treated with Sutent had not had a recurrence of cancer or death compared with 51.3 percent of patients taking a placebo.
Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington; Editing by Susan Thomas