FDA Approves First Immunotherapy Drug for Breast Cancer

MONDAY, March 11, 2019 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given its blessing to the first immunotherapy regimen for breast cancer.

The combination of immunotherapy (Tecentriq) and chemotherapy (Abraxane) was given accelerated approval for triple-negative breast cancer that is locally advanced or has metastasized, cannot be surgically removed, and is programmed death-ligand 1-postive, CNN reported.

A study published last October in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed a median progression-free survival of 7.4 months among patients who received the combination therapy compared with 4.8 months among those who received chemotherapy with a placebo, the FDA said Friday. The study was funded by Genentech Inc., the maker of Tecentriq.

“This is the first time immunotherapy has worked in such a difficult to treat cancer, and is a huge step forward for these breast cancer patients,” study author Peter Schmid, M.D., Ph.D., from the Queen Mary University of London, said in a statement last October, CNN reported.

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Posted: March 2019

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