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FDA approves a new cancer drug targeted to genetic mutation, not cancer type

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 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.

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