U.S. to Approve More Cancer Drugs In 2012

Based on a recent report published by Reuters, the United States will approve more cancer drugs in 2012. The decision was adopted because the Food and Drug Administration received 20 submissions this year proving that scientists can better understand the evolution of the disease.

No later than yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration announced that a new medicine might be used for the treatment of HER2 positive breast cancer. The following day, FDA issued another statement informing patients that 20 more drugs will be approved this year because the recent researches have enabled doctors to find new ways to treat cancer cells.

The constant studies that have been made in the past years have paid off. Doctors can now better understand how cancer cells evolve and which the best way to fight against them is. As a consequence, they have been able to develop new technologies that promise to improve patients’ health condition.

Dr. Richard Pazdur, head of the FDA’s office of oncology products told Reuters that drug companies are making great efforts to meet clients’ needs, which is why the majority of the drugs that are produced at present are developed in oncology. Some of the new technologies presuppose specific gene mutations in tumors or the programming of the immune system to track down and kill cancer cells.

The situation was pretty much the same last year. Out of the 30 drugs that were approved in 2011 by The Food and Drug Administration 10 were meant for oncological use. According to Pazdur’s calculations, their number could be a lot bigger this year. More than 20 applications for cancer drugs are expected to be filled this year.

However, not all submissions will be approved; some of them might be approved next year, depending on the decision deadline. Several medicines have already been approved this year, such as, Roche’s Erivedge for basal cell carcinoma, Pfizer’s Inlyta for kidney cancer, GlaxoSmithKline’s Votrient for soft tissue sarcoma and Leo Pharma’s Picato for actinic keratosis. Usually, it is the drugs with greater efficacy that get approved first because the FDA staff understands how important these are for cancer patients.


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