The US Food and Drug Administration today announced approval of Pfizer’s Sutent (sunitinib) for advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor cancer patients with tumors that cannot be removed by surgery or that have spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body. Steve Jobs, Chief Executive Officer of Apple, was diagnosed with an islet cell pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (NET) in 2004 for which he had surgery, followed by a liver transplant.
Nearly 90 percent of patients with pancreatic NETs are initially diagnosed with locally advanced or metastatic disease. Pancreatic NETs are reported in two to four people per million annually worldwide.
Mace Rothenberg, MD, Senior Vice President of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs for the Pfizer Oncology Business Unit said, “This approval is good news for the physicians, patients and caregivers who have had limited treatment options for this rare and difficult-to-treat tumor.”