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The Wall Street Journal: Drug targeting genetic defect shared by different cancers succeeds in shrinking tumors

CHICAGO — An experimental drug shrank tumors in patients with a variety of cancers sharing the same genetic defect, new studies found, part of a push in oncology research to treat tumors by their molecular traits regardless of where they are in the body.

Loxo Oncology Inc.’s LOXO, +3.95% drug, larotrectinib, was tested in patients who had one of 17 different types of cancer at an advanced stage, including rare ones like salivary-gland cancer and more common types like colon and lung cancers.

The tumors had a rare genetic abnormality known as tropomyosin receptor kinase, or TRK fusion, which is estimated to occur in just 1% of many common cancers.

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