FDA approves Eli Lilly drug for stomach cancer

INDIANAPOLIS - The Food and Drug Administration has approved a brand new drug from Eli Lilly that will help treat thousands of people who suffer from stomach cancer.

The medication is called Cyramza and can help treat symptoms for some of the most advanced stages of the disease.

The drug is intended for patients whose cancer cannot be surgically removed or has spread after being treated with a platinum-containing therapy, experts said.

"Gastric (stomach) cancer is a major health problem. It is the fifth most common cancer in the world and is the third-leading cause of cancer death. There were nearly one million new cases worldwide in 2012 with approximately 723,000 deaths. In the United States, approximately 22,000 people will be diagnosed with gastric cancer and 10,990 will die from it in 2014. Gastric cancer develops slowly in the stomach, usually over years, and is often not diagnosed until advanced stages," Eli Lilly officials said in a statement.

The drug is just one result from Eli Lilly’s cancer research and it is expected to generate close to a billion dollars in sales.

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