The U.S. FDA expanded the approved use of Stivarga (regorafinib) to include treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC or liver cancer) who have been previously treated with the drug sorafenib. This is the first FDA-approved treatment for a liver cancer in almost a decade.
“Limited treatment options are available for patients with liver cancer,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., acting director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence. “This is the first time patients with HCC have had an FDA-approved treatment that can be used if their cancer has stopped responding to initial treatment with sorafenib.”
According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 40,710 people will be diagnosed with liver cancers in 2017 and approximately 28,920 will die of these diseases. HCC originates in the liver and is the most common form of liver cancer.
Stivarga is a kinase inhibitor that works by blocking several enzymes that promote cancer growth, including enzymes in the vascular endothelial growth factor pathway. Stivarga is also approved to treat colorectal cancer and gastrointestinal stromal tumors that are no longer responding to previous treatments.
The FDA granted the approval of Stivarga to Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.