Drug's Approval Marks a Milestone in Personalized Cancer Treatment
By Karen Blum
You might have missed it, but last month marked a sea change in how cancer is treated. When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval in May to a cancer immunotherapy treatment based on disease genetics rather than type, or sites in the body, it marked the first official recognition of what research at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere has long suggested would be an effective strategy.
The treatment, called pembrolizumab, had already been approved for metastatic melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, urothelial cancer and some head and neck cancers. Now it can be used in adults or children with any advanced cancer whose cells have defects in so-called mismatch repair genes. These mutations, first identified by Johns Hopkins researchers in 1993, occur in about 4 percent of cancers, disabling cells’ ability to correct errors in the DNA replication process and potentially triggering unchecked cellular growth, a hallmark of cancer.
Full article at:
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/researc ... -treatment
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