FDA Clears Cancer Drug Keyed to GeneticsMay 30, 2017 |
by Natalie Grover and Bill Berkrot
Merck & Co’s immunotherapy Keytruda chalked up another approval on Tuesday as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the cancer medicine can be used to treat children and adults who carry a specific genetic feature regardless of where the disease originated.
It is the first time the agency has approved a cancer treatment based solely on a genetic biomarker.
“Until now, the FDA has approved cancer treatments based on where in the body the cancer started – for example, lung or breast cancers,” said Richard Pazdur, head of oncology products for the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.