FDA approves radioactive agent for adrenal tumors


The Food and Drug Administration has approved iobenguane I 131 injection (Azedra) for intravenous use for the treatment of adults and adolescents aged 12 years and older with rare adrenal tumors (pheochromocytoma or paraganglioma) that are unresectable, have metastasized, and require systemic therapy.

FDA icon

This is the first FDA-approved drug for this use, the FDA said in a press announcement.

Approval is based on a single-arm, open-label clinical trial that included 68 patients. The primary endpoint was the number or patients with a 50% or greater reduction of antihypertensive medications lasting at least 6 months; the secondary endpoint was overall tumor response according to traditional imaging criteria. The primary endpoint was met by 17 patients, and the secondary endpoint was achieved in 15.

The most common severe side effects were lymphopenia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, fatigue, anemia, increased international normalized ratio, nausea, dizziness, hypertension, and vomiting. Furthermore, because this is a radioactive therapeutic agent, there is a warning about radiation exposure for both patients and family members, a risk that is greatest in pediatric patients.

Other warnings and precautions include a risk of myelosuppression, underactive thyroid, elevations in blood pressure, renal failure or kidney injury, and pneumonitis. Myelodysplastic syndrome and acute leukemias were observed in patients who received the radioactive agent, and the magnitude of this risk will continue to be studied, the FDA said.

The approval was granted to Progenics Pharmaceuticals.

Next Article: