Read as much as you want on BostonGlobe.com, anywhere and anytime, for just 99¢.

Celtics Live

109

102

Final

Bayer cancer drug approved for new use

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration on Monday expanded approval of a Bayer cancer pill to treat tumors of the intestinal tract that don’t respond to other treatments.

The drug is called Stivarga and regulators approved it to treat gastrointestinal stromal tumors that cannot be surgically removed and no longer respond to other FDA-approved drugs.

Continue reading below

The FDA previously approved Stivarga to treat colo­rectal cancer. It works by blocking several enzymes that promote cancer growth.

The FDA approved the drug for the new use based on a study of nearly 200 patients who were randomly assigned to take Stivarga or a placebo pill.

Patients taking the drug experienced a nearly four-month delay in the growth of their tumors compared with those taking the placebo.

The most common side effects of Stivarga in clinical trials included liver damage, severe bleeding, blistering and peeling of skin, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and perforations.

Other drugs approved to treat intestinal tumors include Gleevec, from Novartis, and Sutent, made by Pfizer Inc.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week