ORLANDO, Fla. -

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Thursday approved a cancer inhibitor called Stivarga (regorafenib) to treat patients with colorectal cancer that has progressed “after treatment and spread to other parts of the body (metastatic).”

In a statement released Thursday morning, the FDA says the drug was reviewed under its’” priority review program” and is being approved one month ahead of the original review date of Oct. 27, 2012.

“Stivarga is the latest colorectal cancer treatment to demonstrate an ability to extend patients’ lives and is the second drug approved for patients with colorectal cancer in the past two months,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colorectal cancer is the” third most common cancer in men and in women and the third leading cause of cancer death in men and in women in the United States”

The National Institutes of Health estimates 143,460 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and 51,690 will die from the disease in 2012.