FDA approves new cancer drug Portrazza, which is meant to treat advanced cases of squamous non-small-cell lung cancer. This type of cancer makes up only about 30 percent of lung cancer cases and Portrazza is designed to help extend people’s lives if they suffer from the condition.
The drug was developed by Eli Lilly and Co and has now been granted federal marketing approval for the new Portrazza in order to help patients battling lung cancer which is notoriously hard to treat. It has been approved to treat patients with metastatic squamous non-small-cell lung cancer and it has reportedly been under development for many years.
Its release by Eli Lilly comes at a time when several high-prices cancer treatments and alternatives have already hit the market. However, the type of cancer the drug aims to fight is a very difficult one to treat and there have been no first-line treatments approved for it within the past 20 years.
According to Dr. Richard Gaynor, senior vice president, product development and medical affairs for Lilly Oncology, the appearance and the approval of Portrazza represents an important new step in the development of a complex treatment course for patients suffering from this type of squamous non-small-cell lung cancer. As lung cancer is a complex disease, it requires the development of first-line treatments that will be more effective and easily accessible.
A new development in lung cancer treatment is always welcome news for the cancer community, as lung cancer is the leading death cause within the cancer sufferer sector and is also very common, being less common only than prostate cancer in men and only less common than breast cancer in women.
With so many cases and such high death rates concerning lung cancer, experts estimated that a five-year survival rate for patients with lung cancer is less than 5 percent. But Portrazza may bring some hope with it now that it’s been approved by the FDA.
During a medical trial, patients who used Portrazza along with two widely used cancer drugs survived an average of 11.5 months, compared to those who only used the two generic cancer drugs and averaged a survival rate of 9.9 months.
The results of the tests prompted the Food and Drug Administration to allow the use of Portrazza as part of a three drug treatment with Cisplatin and Gemzar for the treatment of metastatic squamous non-small-cell lung cancer.
The drug was granted an orphan drug status by the FDA, which is a status that the organization has given before to drugs which show promise in treating rare diseases.
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