(HealthDay)—Cyramza (ramucirumab) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat cancer of the stomach or of the area where the esophagus joins the stomach (the gastroesophageal junction).
Stomach cancer, primarily affecting older people, is expected to be diagnosed in more than 22,000 Americans this year and cause the deaths of about 10,990 people, the FDA said Monday in a news release.
Cyramza works by blocking the blood supply to tumors. It's been approved in advanced cases where the tumor can't be surgically removed, or where the cancer has spread despite the use of other anti-cancer drugs, the agency said.
Cyramza's safety and effectiveness were evaluated in clinical studies involving 355 people. Participants who received the drug lived for an average of 5.2 months compared to 3.8 months among those who took a placebo, the FDA said.
Common side effects included diarrhea and high blood pressure.
Cyramza is marketed by Eli Lilly, based in Indianapolis.
More information: The FDA has more about this approval.