An innovative new approach to cancer treatment pioneered by an Israeli scientist has been approved by the FDA, according to an article in The Jerusalem Post.
The FDA approved the treatment after trials showed that “that approximately 40% of patients saw their tumors shrink in size.”
The drug—the first of its kind—was developed by Dr. Sharon Shacham at Karyopharm Therapeutics, a Newton, Massachusetts based company, and targets the “proliferation of cancerous cells.”
Sharon stated in the Post that, “We believe that our activity at Karyopham constitutes an important milestone in the war on cancer.”
The drug is called XPOVIO and was first approved by the FDA in July having been ten years in development and cancer patients in the US were receiving it within 6 days of its approval, according to Karyopharm’s press release.
The Post goes on to report that, “XPOVIO has been mainly used to treat myeloma, the second most common type of blood cancer.” And in the pivotal trial that led to the treatment’s approval Karyopharm also reported that “Patient life expectancy increased by three to five times.”
XPOVIO’s unique approach focuses on the protein “that plays a key role in cancer growth.” Scientists are still trying to understand why the body allows cancer cells to grow in the first place.
Presently the drug is mainly being used to treat the myeloma form of leukemia. However, Karyopharm thinks this breakthrough may hold the key to treating other types of cancer, stating in the press release the drug is “undergoing advanced clinical trials with various types of cancer patients, among them myeloma, lymphoma, sarcoma, uterine cancer and brain cancer.”