U.S. health officials have approved a new option for some women battling ovarian cancer: a drug that targets a genetic mutation seen in a subset of hard-to-treat tumors.
The Food and Drug Administration cleared the drug, Rubraca, from Clovis Oncology Inc. for women in advanced stages of the disease who have already tried at least two chemotherapy drugs.
The Clovis medication targets a mutation found in 15 to 20 percent of patients with ovarian cancer. Women with the variation, known as BRCA, face much higher risks of breast cancer and ovarian cancer compared with other women.
The FDA also approved a companion test that screens for the mutation.
About 1 percent of women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime, according to the National Cancer Institute. This year an estimated 14,240 women will die from the diseasen the U.S. Currently, standard treatment includes surgery to try and remove tumors or chemotherapy.
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