In Bold Move, FDA Approves Cancer Drug For Any Advanced Tumor With Genetic Changes

Excerpt:

“For the first time, the FDA has approved a drug for use in cancer—of any type—that harbors certain molecular features. Merck’s Keytruda, an immune oncology drug, may be prescribed for any resistant, metastatic tumor with microsatellite instability (MSI) or other evidence for defective DNA mismatch repair.

“This is good news for patients. Previously, Keytruda (pembrolizumab) was approved by the FDA for use in some forms of lung cancer, melanoma, head and neck cancer, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Now, patients can try this medication if they have advanced cancer of any form with pathological MSI or DNA mismatch repair defects. Microsatellite instability most often appears in colon cancers, affecting around 15% of cases. Variants of DNA mismatch repair genes are implicated in heritable cancer dispositions such as Lynch syndrome.”

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Lymphoma Treatment May Harm, Halt Men's Sperm Production

“Treatment for lymphoma may lower men’s fertility, new research indicates.

“Both Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which are cancers of the body’s white blood cells, often affect young people who are still in their reproductive years. For men, treatment for these cancers can harm or halt sperm production. Although most men regain their fertility within two years of treatment, the researchers cautioned that men should be counseled about the possibility of this significant side effect before treatment begins.

” ‘While many men can look forward to their fertility returning after treatment is over, not all will be so fortunate,’ Dr. Rebecca Sokol, president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, said in a society news release. ‘It is imperative that prior to the initiation of therapy, counseling and sperm preservation be made available to all lymphoma patients and their partners who may want to have children in the future.'”