FDA panel unanimously backs Glaxo cancer drug

October 5, 2009 12:59:30 PM PDT
Federal health advisers say an experimental kidney cancer drug from GlaxoSmithKline can benefit patients by slowing the disease, despite some risk of liver damage.

The Food and Drug Administration's cancer drug panel voted unanimously in favor of Glaxo's pazopanib pills for advanced kidney cancer, a rare but deadly form of the disease. The agency is not required to follow the group's advice, though it usually does.

Studies by the British drugmaker showed higher rates of liver damage among patients taking the drug, compared with patients taking a dummy pill. However, panelists said the risks were not significantly worse than those with similar cancer drugs.

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