The FDA has approved ramucirumab (Cyramza) to treat unresectable or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. The drug, which works by blocking the blood supply to tumors, is indicated for patients who have been unsuccessfully treated with fluoropyrimidine- or platinum-containing therapy.
In a placebo-controlled trial, ramucirumab slowed tumor growth and improved survival (median overall survival: 5.2 vs. 3.8 months with placebo). Additionally, in a separate trial, patients treated with ramucirumab plus the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel had better overall survival, compared with those who only received paclitaxel.
The two most common side effects were diarrhea and high blood pressure.
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