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(Bloomberg) The young boy was running out of time. His brain tumor was growing so fast that he had trouble putting words together. All standard cancer treatments had failed.

Then last summer the child started taking an experimental pill that targeted a rare genetic mutation found inside his tumor. Within months, the malignant growth started to shrink and his cognitive symptoms eased. Soon the tumor had all but disappeared. Today he’s still on the drug but back at school and doing well.

The child is one of the first to benefit from an experimental treatment from Roche Holding AG called entrectinib that is showing promise in some of the most difficult-to-treat child tumors, including those that grow on the brain. His progress was described by one of the doctors involved in his treatment.

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