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Colon Cancer Drug Approved for Wider Use

Helps slow tumor growth, spread

MONDAY, Jan. 12, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the anti-cancer drug Eloxatin (oxaliplatin) for wider use in treatment of advanced colon cancer, manufacturer Sanofi-Synthelabo says.

Previously sanctioned when other forms of chemotherapy had failed, the drug is now approved for what's called "first-line" use.

When Eloxatin was approved for use -- in combination with other drugs -- to treat colon cancer in August 2002, the FDA said: "Although the individual drugs had very little effect, the combination resulted in a greater number of patients having tumor shrinkage and led to a delay in resumption of cancer growth."

The company says worldwide clinical trials are under way to see if the drug could be used to combat other forms of cancer, including those of the gastric tract and pancreas.

For more information about colon cancer, visit the National Cancer Institute.

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