[MOL] FDA Approval for Expanded Taxol Use [01223] Medicine On Line


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[MOL] FDA Approval for Expanded Taxol Use



Bristol-Myers Gets FDA Approval for Expanded Taxol Use
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Reuters
  
WASHINGTON (Oct. 27) - Taxol, the world's most widely used cancer drug, has 
won federal approval for treating patients with early-stage breast cancer, 
maker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said Wednesday. 

Taxol already had the Food and Drug Administration's blessing for fighting 
some advanced breast cancers and lung and ovarian cancers. The drug had 1998 
sales of $1.2 billion. 

The FDA has now approved Taxol as part of chemotherapy following surgery for 
patients with breast cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes but no 
further, according to Bristol-Myers spokesman John Kouten. 

``It will have a significant impact on how women with this stage of cancer 
are treated,'' Kouten said. 

Breast cancer is one of the top cancer killers of women in the United States, 
second only to lung cancer. 

Taxol, known generically as paclitaxel, was originally developed from 
compounds found in the Pacific yew tree. The drug's possible side effects 
include neutropenia, a potentially dangerous drop in some white blood cells. 

Drug industry analysts said the expansion of approved uses would help 
strengthen Taxol's position as the number one cancer drug but was not 
expected to have a major sales impact. 

``This approval again adds to the depth and breadth of Taxol,'' Gruntal and 
Co. analyst David Saks said. ``... The drug has become ubiquitous in 
chemotherapy.'' 
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