Breaking News Emails Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings. SUBSCRIBE Nov. 27, 2018 / 6:27 PM GMT By Lauren Dunn and Maggie Fox The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new cancer drug that is the first to be designed from the start to fight a specific genetic mutation, not a traditional cancer type. The new drug, named Vitrakvi, is not approved to fight breast cancer or lung cancer or colon cancer. Instead, it’s designed and approved to treat cancers that arise anywhere in the body that carry a certain genetic characteristic. “Traditionally in cancer therapy, we've treated patients based on where their cancer came from, what part of the body. What makes Vitrakvi unique is that it works regardless of where the cancer came from as long as it has the specific mutation,” said Dr. David Hyman, chief of early drug development at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. While … [Read more...] about FDA approves a new cancer drug targeted to genetic mutation, not cancer type
New cancer drug approved by fda
SEATTLE -- The FDA just approved a breakthrough drug that could help thousands of cancer patients every year. It's already giving hope to a family who thought they were out of options for their 9-year old son.Looking at energetic, athletic 9-year-old Ashton Leeds, you'd never know just five years ago his chances of serving cancer were bleak. "When Ashton was 4, I noticed a lump on his neck. We took him in to see his doctor. Ashton was sent for a biopsy, where they found out that he had stage 4 thyroid cancer," said Kayley Leeds, Ashton's mom.His diagnosis was dire and devastating to his family."Slowly, we noticed his breathing change and he kind of lost the weight. So we went back to see his doctor and they did another chest x-ray and it showed that the cancer had spread in his lungs," Kayley Leeds said.He underwent surgeries and treatment, but that didn't stop the disease from progressing."The worst moment was probably seeing him after he had surgery - seeing him hooked up to all the … [Read more...] about New cancer drug: Promising treatment saves 9-year-old boy with stage 4 thyroid cancer
Our Review SummaryThis story is based on an FDA news release announcing the approval of a drug to treat cancer that springs from an abnormality called neurotrophic receptor tyrosine kinase, or NTRK, gene fusion. The story accurately reports that Vitrakvi (larotrectinib) is the second drug approved for use based on a tumor biomarker, rather than where the cancer is located in the body. However, it omits important information like the drug’s hefty price tag ($400,000 a year), its harms, the lack of evidence to show it prolongs life or improves the quality of patients’ lives, and the fact that it applies to a very small number of patients. It’s also larded with generic statements extolling the virtues of targeted cancer therapies, with no comments from independent sources. Why This MattersCancer wonks may get excited about this new “site-agnostic oncology therapy,” but patients and their families aren’t served by mainstream news stories that ignore … [Read more...] about Newsweek trumpets an ‘aggressive’ new cancer drug, but where’s the data?
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche is seen outside the Shanghai Roche Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. headquarters in Shanghai May 22, 2014. Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG said it had been visited by a unit of China's anti-trust regulator. It was not immediately clear what was behind the visit. REUTERS/Aly Song (Reuters) - Roche Holding AG said on Wednesday its cancer drug, Venclexta, received accelerated approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as part of a combination treatment for newly diagnosed patients with a form of leukemia. The drug, developed in partnership with AbbVie Inc, was approved for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) aged 75 or older, or those ineligible for intensive induction chemotherapy. “Many people with acute myeloid leukemia are unable to tolerate standard intensive chemotherapy, and the Venclexta combination regimens represent important new options for these patients,” said Sandra Horning, chief medical … [Read more...] about Roche-AbbVie cancer drug gets accelerated FDA approval
For women with advanced breast cancer who carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations, an experimental drug could improve survival, a new study suggests. The BRCA mutations are linked with a greater risk for aggressive breast and ovarian cancer. The drug, talazoparib, works by blocking an enzyme called poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP), thus preventing cancer cells from killing healthy ones. In a phase 3 trial of 431 women, funded by the drug's maker, those who received talazoparib lived longer without their cancer progressing than women treated with standard chemotherapy by an average of three months, researchers found. "For women with metastatic breast cancer and a BRCA mutation, PARP inhibitors may be considered for their treatment," said lead researcher Dr. Jennifer Litton, an associate professor of breast medical oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. When it's functioning properly, BRCA actually helps repair damaged DNA and prevents tumors, but … [Read more...] about Breast Cancer Drug Extends Life in Clinical Trial