Abraxane, a new cancer drug designed to be less toxic than standard chemotherapy, did a better job of keeping cancer at bay in women whose breast cancer had spread, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

They said the Abraxane, made by Los Angeles-based Abraxis Bioscience Inc., kept cancer from progressing nearly twice as long as the Sanofi-Aventis cancer drug Taxotere, or docetaxel.

"It nearly doubled progression-free survival," said Dr. William Gradishar of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, whose study appears in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abraxane is currently approved to treat breast cancer after other treatments have failed, but Gradasher said it may become more widely used as a first treatment for breast cancer that has spread.

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