Stivarga (regorafenib), a product marketed by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals that had been authorized for treating colorectal and certain gastrointestinal cancers, recently earned its place on the shelf as a targeted therapy for treating liver cancer following approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
That’s good news for liver cancer patients whose disease has failed to subside with the use of Nexavar, another drug, an American Cancer Society release said. Stivarga also was designated as an orphan product for its ability to treat a rare disease.
Stivarga works by blocking cancer-abetting proteins. The American Cancer Society advised the public of the medicine’s side effects, with responses ranging from fatigue, appetite or weight loss and blood pressure changes to rare incidences including liver damage, bleeding, skin or intestinal disturbances or brain swelling.
Stivarga should be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women, the release said. In addition, patients taking the product are advised to use birth control for a period of two months after finishing treatment.
FDA approval was granted following a clinical trial involving 573 liver cancer patients whose tumors failed to respond to treatment with Nexavar. Individuals who received Stivarga survived several months longer than those who did not, the release said.