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FDA panel backs Glaxo drug for rare sarcoma cancer
USA Today

A panel of cancer experts rejected an experimental Merck drug for a rare form of cancer on Tuesday while recommending approval of a GlaxoSmithKline treatment for the same disease. Neither drug appears to help patients live longer, but panelists said Glaxo’s Votrient helped delay tumor growth in the most vulnerable patients. The FDA panel reviewed the two drugs submitted to treat sarcoma, a rare class of tumors that form in the fat, muscles and bone in the limbs and abdomen. An estimated 11,000 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with the soft tissue cancer in 2011 and 3,900 died from the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute.