The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given its green signal to Eli Lilly’s angiogenesis inhibitor Cyramza (ramucirumab) to treat stomach cancer (in advanced stage) or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma, a form of cancer located in the region where the esophagus joins the stomach.
“Although the rates of stomach cancer in the United States have decreased over the past 40 years, patients require new treatment options, particularly when they no longer respond to other therapies. Cyramza is new treatment option that has demonstrated an ability to extend patients’ lives and slow tumor growth,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
Stomach cancer is a condition when unnatural growth of cells occurs in the tissues lining the stomach. Older adults are the most affected by the disease.
The National Cancer Institute report predicts death of an estimated 10,990 Americans out of the 22,220 cases diagnosed with stomach cancer this year.
The drug, Cyramza, is an angiogenesis inhibitor that treats stomach cancer by blocking the blood supply to tumors. These drugs are intended for patients in advanced stages whose cancer cannot be surgically removed (unresectable) or has spread (metastatic) after being treated with a fluoropyrimidine- or platinum-containing therapy.
The FDA gave green signal to Cyramza following a clinical trial that involved 355 participants with unresectable or metastatic stomach or gastroesophageal junction cancer.
Some of the common side effects of Cyramza include diarrhea and high blood pressure.