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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2013 Oct 1;188(7):770-5. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201305-0843PP.

The impact of genomic changes on treatment of lung cancer.

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1 Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts; and.


The remarkable success of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) tyrosine kinase inhibitors in patients with EGFR mutations and ALK rearrangements, respectively, introduced the era of targeted therapy in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), shifting treatment from platinum-based combination chemotherapy to molecularly tailored therapy. Recent genomic studies in lung adenocarcinoma identified other potential therapeutic targets, including ROS1 rearrangements, RET fusions, MET amplification, and activating mutations in BRAF, HER2, and KRAS in frequencies exceeding 1%. Lung cancers that harbor these genomic changes can potentially be targeted with agents approved for other indications or under clinical development. The need to generate increasing amounts of genomic information should prompt health-care providers to be mindful of the amounts of tissue needed for these assays when planning diagnostic procedures. In this review, we summarize oncogenic drivers in NSCLC that can be currently detected, highlight their potential therapeutic implications, and discuss practical considerations for successful application of tumor genotyping in clinical decision making.

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