A biotech company called Loxo Oncology won a first-of-its-kind approval from the Food and Drug Administration on Monday, bringing to market a cancer drug that can treat an array of tumors regardless of where they are in the body. But upending regulatory tradition may have been the easy part, as Loxo’s hopes of making money depend on scouring the world for patients with a rare genetic mutation.

The drug, larotrectinib, is designed to kill off tumors by attacking a protein called TRK, which becomes hyperactive in people with certain genetic mutations. Whereas nearly all cancer drugs are approved to fight malignancies in the lung, breast, or pancreas, Loxo’s therapy is cleared for any advanced cancer that expresses TRK, making it the first drug developed as a tumor-agnostic treatment, according to the FDA.

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  • My grandma is 85 year old with colon cancer. Her tumor is 14*10*8cm. I’m wondering where I can buy her the drug in Los Angeles to treat her. Also, she’s living in China, and she doesn’t have American health insurance. Is there a financial assistance I can get? Thank you.

  • This is my second time battling third stage colon cancer. It has now in my lungs. I found this report on Loxo very interesting. I would like more information on this drug. Thank you

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