According to a story from Markets Insider, Taiho Oncology, Inc. recently announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has officially approved the company’s cancer drug LONSURF in the US as a treatment for adult patients with gastric adenocarcinoma or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. The drug, which is a combination of trifluridine and tipiracil, is to be used in patients whose cancer has begun metastasis and has already been treated with two lines of chemotherapy. Gastric adenocarcinoma and gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma are both forms of stomach cancer.
About Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer appears in the lining of the stomach; gastric adenocarcinoma is the most common type. In about 60 percent of stomach cancer cases infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori is responsible for causing the disease. There are also several other risk factors for stomach cancer, such as smoking, infection with the Epstein-Barr virus or HIV virus, family history, diabetes, obesity, and a diet high in pickled vegetables, processed or smoked meat, red meat, and salt. Men are also more likely to get stomach cancer, which suggests the possibility that estrogen could be protective. Symptoms of stomach cancer include heartburn, abdominal pain, appetite loss, fatigue, weakness, bloating, vomiting, weight loss, and jaundice. It often does not cause symptoms in the early stages, so many patients are diagnosed with advanced disease. Treatment for this disease includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and targeted therapies. The five year survival rate in the US is only 28 percent. To learn more about stomach cancer, click here.
A New Treatment Option for Stomach Cancer Patients
The approval of this drug will allow patients who no longer respond to other treatments to have access to a new therapeutic approach. Patients who have been heavily pretreated have a very limited pool of treatment options available to them. Clinical trial data has consistently demonstrated that superiority of LONSURF versus placebo. The drug has been marketed as a treatment for colorectal cancer since 2014 and as of this writing has been cleared for this indication in 66 different countries. Therefore, this approval expands the indication of LONSURF in the US.
The approval of LONSURF for stomach cancer should give new hope to patients with this disease.