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Cancer Treat Res. 2016;170:165-82. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-40389-2_8.

Targeted Therapies for Lung Cancer.

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 170 Manning Drive, Physician's Office Building, 3rd Floor, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-7305, USA.


Targeted therapies have become standard therapies for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). A phase III trial of carboplatin and paclitaxel with and without bevacizumab in patients with advanced NSCLC with non-squamous histology demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in efficacy. In patients with NSCLC with an activating epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation (defined as exon 19 deletion and exon 21 L858R point mutation), phase III trials of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) compared to platinum-based chemotherapy have demonstrated superior efficacy in the first-line setting. In patients with NSCLC with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) rearrangements, phase III trials of crizotinib have demonstrated superior efficacy compared to platinum-pemetrexed in the first-line setting and standard chemotherapy in the second-line setting. A second-generation ALK inhibitor, ceritinib, is available for patients who have progressed after or were intolerant of crizotinib. Crizotinib has also demonstrated activity on patients with ROS1 rearrangements, and BRAF inhibitors (dabrafenib, vemurafenib) have demonstrated activity in patients with NSCLC with BRAF V600E mutation. The oncogenic mutations that are susceptible to targeted therapy are mainly found in non-squamous NSCLC. The development of targeted therapy in patients with squamous NSCLC has been more challenging due to the genomic complexity observed in the squamous histology and the low prevalence of EGFR, ALK, and ROS1 molecular alterations. A phase III trial of cisplatin and gemcitabine with and without necitumumab in patients with advanced NSCLC with squamous histology demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in progression-free and overall survival.


Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) rearrangement; Angiogenesis; BRAF mutations; Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation; ROS1 rearrangement

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