A new pill from Pfizer that has won the endorsement of an expert U.S. FDA panel may be able to relieve the agony of arthritis.

FOX News Radio's Bill Vitka reports:

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks itself. It affects three times as many women as men. It's difficult to treat, and about a third of the more than one million Americans with the disease don't even respond to existing treatment.

Now, for first time in a decade, an expert panel of the FDA is recommending the government approve a new drug, called tofacitinib. It has some side effects. Cancer rates seem to rise in high doses over time. But the panel decided the benefits outweigh the dangers.

A final decision by the FDA itself, expected by August 21.

Bill Vitka, FOX News Radio.