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The FDA ( Food and Drug Administration ) has approved Votrient ( Pazopanib ), the sixth drug to be approved for kidney cancer since 2005.

Votrient is an oral medication that interferes with angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels needed for solid tumors to grow and survive.

Votrient is intended for people with advanced renal cell carcinoma. In 2009, approximately 49,000 people were diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma and 11,000 people died from the disease in the United States.

The five other drugs approved for kidney cancer and their approval dates are: Sorafenib ( 2005 ), Sunitinib ( 2006 ), Temsirolimus ( 2007 ), Everolimus ( 2009 ), and Bevacizumab ( 2009 ).

The safety and effectiveness of Votrient was evaluated in a 435-patient study that examined a patient’s progression-free survival.
Progression-free survival averaged 9.2 months for patients receiving Votrient compared to 4.2 months for patients who did not receive the drug.

Adverse reactions included diarrhea, high blood pressure, hair color changes, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, abdominal pain and headache. Votrient can also cause severe and fatal liver toxicity. Health care professionals should order blood tests to monitor liver function before and during treatment with the drug.
Votrient has also been associated with heart rhythm irregularities. Patients receiving Votrient should be monitored with periodic electrocardiograms and blood tests to monitor electrolytes since an electrolyte imbalance can lead to an irregular heart rhythm.

Since Votrient can harm a fetus, it should not be used during pregnancy.

Source: FDA, 2009

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