FDA approves expanded use of cancer drug Tecentriq

The FDA recently approved an immunotherapy drug called Tecentriq (atezolizumab) for patients ages 2 and up who have advanced alveolar soft part sarcoma that has spread to other parts of the body or cannot be removed by surgery, U.S. News & World Report reported Jan. 2.

Tecentriq helps the immune system respond more aggressively to cancer, according to the report. The drug is approved for patients with several cancer types, including liver cancer, melanoma, and lung cancer. It was first approved by the FDA in 2016 for bladder cancer. 

This is the first time the drug has been approved for children. Approval was granted following a National Cancer Institute trial.

"This approval will make a huge impact in terms of a rare disease that has been particularly challenging to treat," Alice Chen, MD, of the Developmental Therapeutics Clinic in the U.S. National Cancer Institute's division of cancer treatment and diagnosis, told U.S. News.

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