Sanofi-Aventis Gets U.S. Approval for Use of Taxotere in Treating Head and Neck Cancer

PARIS Sanofi-Aventis announced that the Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of its cancer drug Taxotere to treat another form of the disease.

The company said Monday that the drug could now be used to treat locally advanced head and neck cancer prior to chemo radiotherapy and surgery.

The approval was based on the company’s advanced clinical trials, which concluded that patients who use Taxotere in combination with standard induction chemotherapy resulted in a more than three-year improvement in patient survival rate, the company said.

Taxotere is now approved in Europe and the United States to treat five cancer types: breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, gastric cancer, and head and neck cancer.

More than 640,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with head and neck cancer each year, and more than 350,000 die from the disease annually, the company stated in a release.

“Head and neck cancer is particularly hard to treat and if not detected early has low survival rates,” said Nancy Leupold, President and Founder of Support for People with Oral and Head and Neck Cancer. “The availability of effective therapies that advance treatment and help patients live longer is very welcome news for the cancer community.”

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