Health Canada Approves Gemzar (Gemcitabine)/Cisplatin Combination for Bladder Cancer

TORONTO, ON — February 28, 2002 — Health Canada has approved Gemzar® (gemcitabine HCI) in combination with cisplatin as an effective new treatment for advanced or metastatic bladder cancer.

Studies have demonstrated that the new combination therapy is safer than the current standard treatment, resulting in fewer side effects and a better quality of life, while providing equal survival benefits.

"Given its impact on survival and the superior tolerability of this therapeutic approach, Gemzar paired with cisplatin is the new standard of care for locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer," said Dr. Malcolm Moore, Medical Oncologist and Director of the Drug Development Program at Princess Margaret Hospital. "The new combination will make chemotherapy for this devastating disease more tolerable."

The previous standard, a drug combination of four chemotherapies known as MVAC (methotrexate, vinblastine, adriamycin, and cisplatin), was developed 15 years ago and has been widely used for the treatment of advanced bladder cancer despite significant toxicity.

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