The FDA Just Approved A New, Targeted Breast Cancer Drug

breast cancer

Photo: calvinfleming via flickr

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration says it has approved a new form of a best-selling breast cancer drug that targets tumour cells while sparing healthy ones.

The drug Kadcyla (kad-SY’-luh) from Roche combines the established drug Herceptin with a powerful chemotherapy and a third chemical linking the medicines together. The chemical keeps the drugs intact until they bind to a cancer cell, where the double-shot of medication is released.

The FDA approved the drug for about 20 per cent of breast cancer patients who have a particular form of the disease. These patients have tumors that overproduce the protein HER-2.

The approval will help Roche build on the success of Herceptin, which has long dominated the breast cancer marketplace. The drug had sales of $6 billion last year.

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