Stomach, kidney cancer drug okayed

Associated Press
Published January 27, 2006

WASHINGTON - A new drug that combats both a rare stomach cancer and advanced kidney cancer won speedy federal approval Thursday.

Sunitinib, to be marketed by Pfizer Inc. as Sutent, is the first cancer drug to simultaneously win Food and Drug Administration approval for two conditions.

Sutent works by depriving tumor cells of the blood and nutrients needed to grow.

The once-a-day capsule is meant to treat both gastrointestinal stromal tumors and advanced kidney cancer. Pfizer is studying the drug for use in treating other cancers, including breast and lung cancer.

The approval comes a month after the FDA gave approval to sorafenib tosylate, or Nexavar, the first new drug for kidney cancer patients in a decade.