Since the 1940s oncologists have been focusing on tumors at the location in the body where the tumors originated. According to a recent FDA press release, this is the third time the FDA has granted accelerated approval to a drug with an entirely different agenda. These three newly approved drugs have the potential to transform cancer treatment.
The third newly approved treatment, Rozlytrek (entrectinib), is based on a measurable substance (biomarker) across all solid tumors with specific molecular alterations rather than at the location where the disease originated.
It is suggested that the only method of identifying people eligible for Rozlytrek therapy is through biomarker testing for NTRK fusion-positive tumors and ROS1 in NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancer).
Rozlytrek is one of many new drugs that target mutations. In this case, the mutations are key genetic drivers. The key drivers allow the cancer to invade the human body. Although there are several genetic mutations in cancer cells, only a few can be considered “drivers.”
Rozlytrek was granted FDA approval for treating patients with ROS1-positive metastatic (had spread) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). It is the number one cause of cancer deaths in the world. Over one and one half million people (4000 each day) lose their lives to NSCLC every year.
NSCLC accounts for eighty-five percent of all lung cancers diagnosed.
Additionally, FDA approval was granted for adolescent and adult patients who harbor the NTRK (neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase) gene fusion.
Both approvals were the result of pooled data provided by four clinical trials. Information about the clinical trials may be found here.
Information about common side effects during treatment with Rozlytrek is available here.
- fifty-one patients with ROS1- positive NSCLC, and
- Fifty-four patients with advanced or metastatic NTRK gene fusions
Rozlytrek shrank 78% of NSCLC tumors and shrank tumors in more than half NTRK patients.
The FDA’s Commitment
The FDA has demonstrated its support by reviewing the performance of these drugs through its expanded pathways. The FDA’s granting of accelerated approval requires the sponsor, in this case, Genentech, Inc., to submit additional data.