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FDA Approves Breast Cancer Immunotherapy Treatment Tecentriq  Skip to content

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FDA Approves Immunotherapy Drug to Treat Breast Cancer

It improves the immune system’s ability to find and kill cancer cells    

Doctor commenting on a mammography to her patient

Alamy Stock Photo

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first immunotherapy drug for breast cancer.

Swiss drugmaker Roche's Tecentriq was OK'd Friday for treating advanced triple-negative breast cancer, which accounts for about 15 percent of cases. It's to be given with chemotherapy, the standard treatment.

Breast cancer specialist Amy Tiersten of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York called it “tremendously exciting news."

Approved for two other cancers, Tecentriq works by boosting the immune system's ability to spot and kill cancer cells.

In a study of 900 women, the benefits were modest. Those who received Tecentriq plus chemo went two months longer, on average, without their cancer worsening, compared with those on chemo alone. The combo caused nerve pain, nausea and other side effects.

Tecentriq costs about $13,400 per month.

— Linda A. Johnson, Associated Press

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