New Sarcoma Cancer Treatment Approved in Time for Sarcoma Cancer Awareness Week
Posted Jun 22 2012 8:25am
June 18 - 24, 2012 is Sarcoma Cancer Awareness Week. Sarcoma is a rare cancer in adults (1 percent of all adult cancers) but rather prevalent in children (about 15 percent of all childhood cancers). At any one time, 50,000 patients and their families are struggling with sarcoma. Every year, about 12,000 new cases are diagnosed and about 5,000 people die from the disease.
In celebrating Sarcoma Awareness Week, the Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA) applauds the announcement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the drug Votrient (pazopanib, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline) has been approved by the agency for the treatment of advanced soft-tissue sarcoma. This approval marks the first time in over 30 years that a drug has been approved by the FDA for the use in the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma that has failed conventional therapy.
"The approval of Votrient marks the ‘end of the beginning’ phase in what history will define as the era of the conquest of sarcoma," said Mark Thornton, MD, PhD, president of the SFA Board of Directors. "More new therapies are coming soon, alone or in combination with Votrient, for all sarcoma patients. Also subtype specific therapies, personalized therapies and immune therapies are in development - all emerging now to give us a real chance of curing sarcoma in our time, so that our children will never have to know the scourge of this disease."
The SFA has been outspoken on the need for new treatments and therapies for sarcoma patients. Matthew Alsante, SFA Executive Director, spoke at the March meeting of the FDA's Oncology Drug Advisory Committee (ODAC), urging the panel to recommend the approval of Votrient. "We implored the ODAC to vote to approve Votrient, and for the FDA to approve Votrient, for the treatment of sarcoma,” said Alsante. “Thankfully, our voices were heard, and we are grateful to the patients who participated in the clinical trials of Votrient, to GSK for investing in sarcoma drug development, and to the FDA for its regulatory flexibility and speed in its review and approval of the product.”