Sutent Approved for Rare Pancreatic Cancer

For inoperable or spreading tumors

MONDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of Sutent (sunitinib) has been expanded to include people with neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer that is inoperable or has metastasized to other parts of the body.

Neuroendocrine tumors are slow-growing and affect fewer than 1,000 people each year in the United States, the FDA said in a news release.

Pfizer's Sutent was previously FDA approved to treat late-stage kidney cancer and gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), a rare cancer of the stomach, bowel or esophagus.

Among people with neuroendocine pancreatic cancer, Sutent in clinical trials extended average lifespan to 10.2 months, compared to 5.4 months among people who took a placebo. The most common side effects included diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, anorexia, high blood pressure and stomach pain.

Pfizer is based in New York City.

More information

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has more about this type of cancer.

Scott Roberts

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