The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a combination of Hycamtin (topotecan hydrochloride) and cisplatin for use as the first drug treatment for women with late-stage cancer of the cervix when a physician determines that surgery or radiation therapy are unlikely to be effective. The approval includes a new indication for Hycamtin, which was approved in 1996 for treating ovarian cancer and in 1998 for small cell lung cancer.
In the United States there are an estimated 10,000 new cases of cervical cancer and about 3,700 related deaths each year.
“We are making great strides in the fight against cervical cancer, a disease that, world wide, is the second most common cancer in women,” said Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, Acting FDA Commissioner. “This course of drug therapy is a potentially life-prolonging option for thousands of women.”
No doubt a Congressional hearing will be called to investigate.