Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New kidney cancer drug fast-tracked

From the Vancouver Province:
A new drug that significantly increases the survival time of kidney-cancer patients is being fast-tracked by Health Canada and is expected to be approved by July.

The world's highest kidney-cancer rates are in North America. Three years ago there were 4,000 cases in Canada, a figure that's skyrocketed to 5,500 today.

Smoking is the No. 1 cause, while the obesity epidemic with its concomitant kidney damage and an increase in pollution are also implicated. The five-year survival rate of a metastatic renal-cell carcinoma patient is five to 10 per cent.

The new drug, called Torisel, is injected intravenously and destroys the blood vessels which feed the cancerous cells. And the positive effect is achieved without harming nearby blood vessel functions. ...more

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