In April 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the drug Votrient (pazopanib) to treat patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma who had received chemo in the past. Votrient is marketed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
“It is such a great moment to bring forth this treatment option for patients, as it represents one of the few new medical options to be provided to patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma over the last thirty years,” Paolo Paoletti, M.D., President, GSK Oncology, said.
Soft tissue sarcoma is a cancerous tumor that originates in the soft tissue of the human body including muscles and fat. The disease is not common, with only about 12,000 cases reported annually in the United States, but the tumors are very serious and early diagnosis offers the best chance of recovery.
Votrient works by hindering the growth of new blood vessels needed for tumors to develop and survive.
Votrient was approved after a clinical study of 369 patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma, all of whom had previously received chemotherapy. While some patients received a placebo, others were randomly selected to receive Votrient. Patients who received Votrient, on average, did not see progression of the disease for 4.6 months compared to patients who received the placebo and did not see progression of the disease for 1.6 months.
Dr. Richard Pazur, director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research praised the drug’s approval by saying, “Soft tissue sarcomas are a diverse group of tumors and the approval of Votrient for this general class of tumors is the first in decades.”
Votrient comes with some warnings, including the potential risk of liver damage. Speak to your doctor to evaluate all aspects of Votrient to determine if it may be the right course of action for you.