SILVER SPRING, Md., Nov. 19, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Xgeva (denosumab) on Thursday to help prevent skeletal-related events (SREs) in patients with cancer that has spread (metastasized) and damaged the bone. Skeletal-related events include bone fractures from cancer and bone pain requiring radiation.


Xgeva is a monoclonal antibody that targets a protein involved in cancer-related bone destruction called human RANKL. Other FDA-approved drugs for similar conditions include Zometa (zoledronic acid) and Aredia (pamidronate disodium).

Xgeva is not approved for patients with multiple myeloma or other cancers of the blood.

"Bone metastases represent a major cause of pain and suffering in patients with cancer and can affect a patient's quality of life," said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Oncology Drug Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Xgeva has a different mechanism of action than currently approved drugs aimed at reducing bone complications from cancer."

Xgeva's safety and effectiveness were confirmed in three randomized, double-blind clinical studies in 5,723 patients comparing Xgeva with Zometa. One study involved patients with breast cancer, another in patients with prostate cancer, and a third included patients with a variety of other cancers.

The studies were designed to measure the time until occurrence of a fracture or spinal cord compression due to cancer or until radiation or surgery for control of bone pain was needed.

In patients with breast or prostate cancers, Xgeva was superior to Zometa in delaying SREs. In men with prostate cancer, the median time to an SRE was 21 months with Xgeva compared to 17 months with Zometa.

In patients with breast cancer, the median time to a