Amgen's cancer drug Nexavar is going to reach a broader market. Today, the Food and Drug Administration widened its approval for the drug to include its use in the treatment of several forms of late-stage differentiated thyroid cancer. The decision follows a priority review by the regulator, a process reserved for treatments that "may offer a significant improvement in treatment over existing options," in Amgen's words.

The thyroid is a gland located in the neck. Nexavar functions by inhibiting multiple proteins in cancer cells. This limits the growth and division of such cells.

There is a patient base for the drug. According to the FDA, for 2013 around 60,220 Americans will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Of that number, roughly 1,850 will die from it.

The article FDA Expands Approval for Amgen's Nexavar originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Eric Volkman has no position in Amgen. Nor does The Motley Fool. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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