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Innovation Observatory > Reports > Drugs > Entrectinib for the Treatment of NTRK-fusion Positive Solid Tumours in Adult and Paediatric Patients

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Entrectinib for the Treatment of NTRK-fusion Positive Solid Tumours in Adult and Paediatric Patients

Drugs

Cancer and Palliative Care

July 2018


Solid tumours are abnormal masses of cells which may be non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). Some solid tumours may be caused by specific genetic changes, for example, mutation in the NTRK genes, which can affect signalling inside the cell which drives cell growth. When these signals become overactive, cells can grow out of control and form tumours. If these tumours are malignant, this can result in multiple different types of cancers, including; lung, head and neck and certain types of breast cancers.
Entrectinib is a drug taken daily as a capsule which works by blocking the NTRK genes, which signals cancer cells to become overactive and drive uncontrolled growth of these cancer cells. By blocking these signals, this may slow growth of these cancer cells. There are currently no drugs which target this specific signalling in cancer cells caused by the NTRK gene mutation, and so if licenced entrectinib would be the first drug which blocks this signalling pathway. Hence, entrectinib offers the potential to treat many different types of solid tumours that are positive to the NTRK gene mutation.

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