MONDAY, January 30 (HealthDay News) -- Erivedge (vismodegib) has
been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat the
most common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, the agency
The drug was approved for people for whom surgery or radiation
aren't options, and for people with basal cell that has spread to
other parts of the body, according to an FDA news release.
Basal cell usually is a slow-growing, painless type of cancer
that begins in the top layer of skin, often on areas most exposed
to the sun.
Erivedge was evaluated in clinical studies involving 96 people
with basal cell carcinoma. The most common side effects included
muscle spasms, hair loss, weight loss, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue,
distorted taste, loss of appetite and constipation.
The drug was approved with an FDA's label warning that pregnant
women who take Erivedge could have babies at greater risk of severe
birth defects or death. "Pregnancy status must be verified prior to
the start of Erivedge treatment," the agency release advised.
Erivedge is marketed by Genentech, based in San Francisco,
Medline Plus has more about
basal cell carcinoma.