U.S. Approves Gene-targeting Lung Cancer Drug
WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it has approved a new drug from Pfizer for a subset of lung cancer patients with a particular genetic mutation.
About 1 percent to 7 percent of patients with nonsmall cell lung cancer have an abnormal gene that causes tumor growth. Pfizer's drug Xalkori works by blocking proteins produced by the gene.
The twice-a-day pill is the second medication approved by the FDA this year targeting a specific genetic mutation. The drugs are part of a new wave of personalized medicines being developed to treat cancer and other lifethreatening diseases.
The FDA said it also approved a genetic test to screen for patients who have the so- called abnormal anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene.
About 85 percent of lung cancer cases are non-smallcell lung cancer.