FDA approves ‘precision medicine’ drug for different cancers with same mutation

Source: The Washington Post, January 2019

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved a drug for a wide range of cancers based on a shared mutation, rather than the tumors’ locations — an advance for the sometimes controversial field of “precision medicine.”

The medication, called Vitrakvi, is the second treatment to receive FDA clearance based on a common biomarker found in an array of cancers. The drug, also called larotrectinib, was approved simultaneously for adults and children. Typically, oncology drugs are considered much later for children.

Last year the agency, for the first time, approved an immunotherapy drugfor tumors with a specific genetic signature, regardless of where they originated in the body. But that treatment had been cleared for several cancers, including advanced melanoma.

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