Cancer drugs: 4 things to know

As 2023 entered its fourth quarter, one cancer drug shortage resolved as more than a dozen continue; a California system helped make a chemotherapy management app; and the FDA approved a new head and neck cancer medication. 

Here are four things to know:

1. Shortages: The strained supply of dacarbazine injection, a skin cancer drug, recently worsened as about a dozen others dragged on. The shortage began in spring 2023, and there are no solutions available for normal ordering, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

Novartis' shortage of prostate cancer drug Pluvicto ended in October, according to the FDA

2. Patient care: As the monthslong cancer drug shortage slightly eases, Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health and drugmaker AstraZeneca teamed up to launch an app that helps cancer patients manage and track their chemotherapy medications. The app, MediConnect, is expected to be available this winter. 

3. New approvals: On Oct. 27, the FDA approved toripalimab-tpzi, a new medication for head and neck cancer patients. The first-line treatment, made by Coherus BioSciences, is approved to be used with cisplatin and gemcitabine.

4. Oncology drug research: By Dec. 8, the FDA will decide whether to approve an experimental drug for sickle cell disease, which would be the first approved therapy made with CRISPR technology. The drug, exagamglogene autotemcel, or exa-cel, is developed by Boston-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Switzerland-based CRISPR Therapeutics. 

Other oncology drug research making headlines includes a potential detection and treatment for dormant breast cancer cells, which is being tested at Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine; a cancer vaccine candidate developed at Tampa, Fla.-based Moffitt Cancer Center; and a gene mutation that might reveal why drugs don't work for some breast cancer patients, which researchers at Boston-based Mass General Brigham discovered.

In San Francisco, a phase 1 trial for an experimental lymphoma and leukemia therapy was placed on a partial clinical hold as the drugmaker, Nurix Therapeutics, changes its manufacturing process.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars