This Cancer Drug Is So Effective, The FDA Approved It Immediately

June 11, 2017

A new cancer drug has overwhelmingly helped shrink or eradicate tumors in patients whose cancer had resisted every other form of treatment.

The results, published in the journal Science, are so striking that the Food and Drug Administration already has approved the drug.

cancer drug immediately approved by FDA
Image credit: Merck

The study followed 86 cancer patients with tumors of the pancreas, prostate, uterus or bone. Each patient was given pembrolizumab, which also goes by the brand name Keytruda.

After taking the drug, 66 patients had their tumors shrink substantially and stabilize, instead of continuing to grow. Among them were 18 patients whose tumors vanished and have not returned.

According to the New York Times, this is the first time a drug has been approved for use against tumors that share a particular genetic profile, regardless of where they appear in the body.

Dr. Jack Jacoub, a medical oncologist and director of thoracic oncology at Memorial Care Cancer Institute at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, said "The FDA doesn't take these kinds of things lightly. The data was so good, they had to approve it."

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