Targeted therapies in non-small cell lung cancer

Heavey, S., O'Byrne, K., & Gately, K. (2013) Targeted therapies in non-small cell lung cancer. In Gately, K. (Ed.) Lung Cancer : A Comprehensive Overview. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., New York, pp. 143-172.

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The majority of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients present with advanced disease and with a 5 year survival rate of <15% for these patients, treatment outcomes are considered extremely disappointing. Standard chemotherapy regimens provide some improvement to ~40% of patients. However, intrinsic and acquired chemoresistance are a significant problem and hinder sustained long term benefits of such treatments. Advances in proteomic and genomic profiling have increased our understanding of the aberrant molecular mechanisms that are driving an individual's tumour. The increased sensitivity of these technologies has enabled molecular profiling at the stage of initial biopsy thus paving the way for a more personalised approach to the treatment of cancer patients. Improvements in diagnostics together with a wave of new targeted small molecule inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies have revolutionised the treatment of cancer. To date there are essentially three targeted agents approved for clinical use in NSCLC. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) erlotinib, which targets the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) TK domain, has proven to be an effective treatment strategy in patients who harbour activating mutations in the EGFR TK domain. Bevacizumab a monoclonal antibody targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) can improve survival, response rates, and progression-free survival when used in combination with chemotherapy. Crizotinib, a small-molecule drug, inhibits the tyrosine kinase activity of the echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 anaplastic lymphoma kinase (EML4-ALK) fusion protein, resulting in decreased tumour cell growth, migration, and invasiveness in patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC. The clinical relevance of several other targeted agents are under investigation in distinct molecular subsets of patients with key "driver" mutations including: KRAS, HER2, BRAF, MET, PIK3CA, AKT1,MAP2K1, ROS1 and RET. Often several pathways are activated simultaneously and crosstalk between pathways allows tumour cells to escape the inhibition of a single targeted agent. This chapter will explore the clinical development of currently available targeted therapies for NSCLC as well as those in clinical trials and will examine the synergy between cytotoxic therapies.

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ID Code: 67772
Item Type: Book Chapter
ISBN: 9781626184473
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > ONCOLOGY AND CARCINOGENESIS (111200)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 26 Feb 2014 00:43
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2015 16:09

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