REVIEW – May 2021

Tumour-agnostic or tissue-independent tumour drugs

Authors: Toivo Maimets

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Abstract

Over the last years, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued marketing authorisations for several cancer drugs that principally differ from existing ones. When cancer drugs are usually targeted towards cancer tissues according to the tissue type (histology)and localisation, then tumour-agnostic (tissue-agnostic, histology-independent) drugs can be used for any type of tumours containing specific genetic mutations. For example, Vitravki (larotrectinib) ja Rozlytrek (entrectinib), recently approved by the EMA, are used for tumours containing the NRTK fusion gene. Rozlytrek can also be used for tumors with  the ROS1 fusion gene. Such gene mutations lead to overactivation of certain tyrosine kinases in cells, and these drugs are inhibitors of such enzymatic activity. In this article we describe the tumour-agnostic drugs approved so far by the EMA and the FDA, as well as address the possible future perspectives of their development.