New cancer medicine targets tumour biomarkers anywhere in the body

Vitrakvi (larotrectinib) is used to treat adults and children with cancers which have a specific genetic feature. Tissue-agnostic therapies are a recent innovation. They are medicines able to treat different types of tumours based on a common genetic feature. This allows for more targeted drug delivery when treating multiple forms of cancers, no matter where they are located.

This medicine has recently been approved by the FDA and is indicated for the treatment of solid tumors which have a neurotrophic receptor tyrosine kinase (NTRK) gene fusion. NTRK genes can fuse with other genes in an abnormal way that supports tumour growth. Before Vitrakvi (larotrectinib), there was no treatment for cancers that expressed this mutation. Due to the accelerated approval, Vitrakvi (larotrectinib) can now be used to treat serious conditions where there were no other suitable alternatives before.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. commented on Vitrakvi (larotrectinib), saying: "Its approval reflects advances in the use of biomarkers to guide drug development and the more targeted delivery of medicine. We now have the ability to make sure that the right patients get the right treatment at the right time. This type of drug development program, which enrolled patients with different tumors but a common gene mutation, wouldn’t have been possible a decade ago because we knew a lot less about such cancer mutations.”

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