Last year, 377,000 new cases of cancer were registered in our country. A truly impressive number that pushes scientific research to commit even more in the fields of treatment and prevention. Fortunately, the news is not all bad. In fact, the news that the drug that could help us against 29 types of cancer has finally been approved in Italy. We are talking about larotrectinib, a drug that works on a genetic mutation common to many types of cancer. But let’s see what it is and the process that prompted AIFA to allow its use.
The drug that could help us against 29 types of cancer has finally been approved in Italy
Larotrectinib works in a very particular way. Unlike other drugs, it does not affect the organ affected by the disease but acts directly on a specific genetic mutation of cancer cells. A mutation called Ntrk and which is common to 29 types of cancer including lung, colon and gastrointestinal tract.
The results of three studies convinced AIFA to approve its use in our country. Applied to adults and children with tumors in which the mutation was present, the drug proved to be extremely effective. In 79% of cases, larotrectinib reduced the tumor size by 30%.
How Larotrectinib Works
The scientific community defines the drug as “agnostic”. And this is because it is the first ever to act directly on cancer cells without having an organ as a “target”. Particularly in those of solid tumors at an advanced level or with metastases in which surgery is too risky.
In addition, it has also been shown to be effective against some cancers that affect the nervous system.
Now the new challenge for the scientific community is to recognize the Ntrk mutation in time to be able to start using the drug. Ntrk is rare but not very rare. It is estimated that in Italy it occurs in about 4,000 patients every year. One aspect that makes the integration between early diagnosis based on gene tests and therapy even more important.
The latest finding from the larotrectinib studies is by far the most encouraging. It is estimated that for patients for whom the drug has been effective, the average life expectancy is greater than 3 years. It is not a cure-all but opens up encouraging prospects both for the study of cancer and for improving the living conditions of patients.
Not only the liver but also these very dangerous tumors can be caused by alcohol
(We remind you to carefully read the warnings regarding this article, which can be consulted WHO”)