Pfizer has filed for approval in Europe to extend the indications for its kidney cancer drug Sutent to include patients newly-diagnosed with the disease, just a week after the drug was approved as a second line treatment.

Sutent (sunitinib malate) is approved in Europe and the USA for use in advanced and/or metastatic renal cell carcinoma after failure of cytokine therapy, as well as unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) after failure of therapy with Novartis’ Glivec (imatinib).

The product is going head-to-head in the marketplace with Bayer’s Nexavar (sorafenib), which was approved last month for the second-line treatment of advanced kidney cancer, as well as in patients who are not eligible for current first-line therapy with interferon alfa and/or interleukin-2.