Recent cancer treatments that focus on genetic biomarkers than certain types of cancer have won accelerated approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

This week's agreement for Vitrakvi, the brand name for larotrectinib, marks a new method for developing cancer drugs that are "agnostic tissue" – cancers that are not specific to one organ such as colon or breast cancer.

Vitracvi, developed by Bayer and Loxo Oncology, is designed to treat solid tumors from cancer of the TRK fusion wherever it develops in the body. Certain mutations are rare – and treatment is not cheap.

Only tests for thousands of cancer costs, and the price tag for treatment can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is not clear how much the patient will pay, but Bayer says no one who needs the drug will do it without him.

"There has never been a treatment for cancer that often reveals these mutations, such as carcinoma of mammary, cellular analogue secretions or a mixture of congenital mesoblastic nephroma and infantile fibrosarcoma," the FDA said in a statement.

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Treatment specifically goes after mutations in DNA, and the amount is encouraging. Seventy-five percent of drug recipients respond, and 73 percent of responses last at least six months. Nearly 40 percent last a year or more, the FDA said.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called the agreement the latest step in "important changes to cancer treatment based on the genetics of their tumors."

The agreement reflects progress in using genetic biomarkers to guide drug development that aims to more closely target drug delivery, he said. He added that the development of the drug would not have been possible a decade ago.

The accelerated approval of Vitracvi allows the FDA to approve drugs for serious conditions to meet unmet medical needs using emerging clinical trial data to predict clinical benefits for patients. Further clinical trials are underway, the FDA said.

The FDA has given drugs Priority Reviews and the determination of Breakthrough Therapy. Vitrakvi also received the Orphan Drug appointment, which provides incentives to help and encourage the development of medicines for rare diseases.

"We now have the ability to ensure that the right patients get the right care at the right time," Gottlieb said.

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