Celgene drug approved for metastatic pancreatic cancer

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by Celgene for treating patients with pancreatic cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of Abraxane (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension, albumin-bound) for patients with late-stage forms of the disease. The drug is a chemotherapy treatment already approved for treating breast and lung cancers.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute, with 45,220 patients expected to be diagnosed with it and 38,460 expected to die this year. Surgery is the only way to permanently remove or cure pancreatic cancer, but it's usually too late by the time the cancer is diagnosed.