FDA approves drug for pancreatic cancer treatment

The Food and Drug Administration has approved using Lynparza for maintenance treatment of pancreatic cancer. (Source: AstraZeneca/Merck via CNN)

(CNN) - Pancreatic cancer patients in the United States now have a new treatment option.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved using Lynparza for maintenance treatment of the disease. The drug is already used to treat ovarian and breast cancer.

The medication is approved for pancreatic cancer patients whose tumors didn't grow after at least 16 weeks of chemotherapy.

The drug's producers, AstraZeneca and Merck say pancreatic cancer is the 12th most common type of the disease, but it is the third largest cause of death from cancer in the U.S.

That's because it's often not discovered until it's in advanced stages.
Civil rights icon and congressman John Lewis announced on Sunday that he was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.

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