Targetable Mutations in NSCLC: More Testing Needed!


Diagnosis of adenocarcinoma of the lung, a major subtype of non-small lung cancer (NSCLC), nowadays triggers mandatory testing of tumor tissue for alterations in four genes: EGFR, ALK, ROS1, and more recently, BRAF. If present, these alterations predict sensitivity to specific targeted drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that work better and often longer than standard chemotherapy, and are better tolerated.

However, there are many more targetable/actionable genomic alterations (also known as “drivers”) in NSCLC. This blog post will briefly discuss most of them, with the goal of promoting molecular testing for more than the four “usual suspects” mentioned above. Some patients with these alterations may benefit from FDA-approved drugs or from enrollment in clinical trials that are testing additional drugs and drug combinations. Continue reading…


FDA Grants Frontline Osimertinib Priority Review for NSCLC

Excerpt:

“The FDA has granted a priority review to a supplemental new drug application (sNDA) for the use of osimertinib (Tagrisso) as a first-line treatment for patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors harbor EGFR mutations (exon 19 deletions or exon 21 [L858R] substitution mutations).

“The sNDA is based on the phase III FLAURA study, in which frontline osimertinib reduced the risk of progression or death by 54% versus standard TKI therapy—erlotinib (Tarceva) or gefitinib (Iressa). In the double-blind study, the median progression-free survival (PFS) was 10.2 months (95% CI, 9.6-11.1) for standard therapy and 18.9 months (95% CI, 12.5-21.4) with osimertinib (HR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.37-0.57; P <.0001).”

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Osimertinib Continues to Show Impressive Activity in EGFR+ NSCLC

Excerpt:

“Osimertinib (Tagrisso) has impressed researchers in the field of EGFR-mutant non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), most recently with results from the phase III FLAURA trial solidifying its benefit.

“In FLAURA, treatment with frontline osimertinib led to a median progression-free survival (PFS) of 18.9 months (95% CI, 15.2-21.4). This represented a 54% risk reduction in progression or death compared with a standard EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) for patients with locally advanced or metastatic EGFR-mutant NSCLC.”

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FDA Grants Priority Review to Afatinib for NSCLC With Rare EGFR Mutations

Excerpt:

“The FDA has granted a priority review to a supplemental new drug application (sNDA) for afatinib (Gilotrif) for the frontline treatment of patients with metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors harbor EGFR exon 21 (L861Q), G719X, or S768I substitution mutations.

“Uncommon mutations such as these represent less than 10% of the EGFR mutations found in NSCLC patients, but are associated with poor prognosis and survival, Boehringer Ingelheim, the manufacturer of afatinib, noted in a press release.”

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Osimertinib Improves Progression-Free Survival in Patients With EGFR Mutated Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“Osimertinib improves progression-free survival by 54% compared to standard first line therapy in patients with EGFR mutated non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to late-breaking results from the FLAURA trial presented today at the ESMO 2017 Congress in Madrid.

“EGFR  are present in around 15% of NSCLC in Western populations, rising to 35% in Asian populations. EGFR inhibitors are superior to chemotherapy in the first line treatment of these patients. However, despite high response rates and good progression-free survival, patients invariably develop  to drugs such as erlotinib and gefitinib. In the majority of patients this resistance is mediated by a T790M mutation.”

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EGFR-mutant NSCLC: Choice of First-Line Treatment May Get More Complicated


Medical guidelines for treatment of newly diagnosed non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) mandate upfront testing of tumor tissue for mutations in the EGFR gene (as well as ALK and ROS gene translocation). EGFR mutations are found in 10 to 15% of white patients, but in patients of East Asian origin such mutations are in encountered in approximately 48%. However, with new data and drugs entering the playing field, newly diagnosed patients’ treatment decisions could become more complex.

There is a good reason to test for EGFR mutations: the accumulated data show that, compared to first-line chemotherapy, treatment with drugs that inhibit the activity of EGFR in patients with activating EGFR mutations improves patients’ median progression-free survival (PFS) time from 4.6 to 6.9 months to 9.6 to 13.1 months, and has a higher objective response rate (ORR). Moreover, EGFR inhibitors are associated with a significantly lower incidence of adverse effects and better control of disease symptoms. Continue reading…


Guideline on Stage IV Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Therapy Updated

Excerpt:

“An update of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) clinical practice guideline clarifies the role of immunotherapy in the treatment of patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The update also provides new recommendations on the use of targeted therapies for patients with changes in tumor EGFRALK, and ROS1 genes.

” ‘Treatment for lung cancer has become increasingly more complex over the last several years. This guideline update provides oncologists the tools to choose therapies that are most likely to benefit their patients,’ said Nasser Hanna, MD, co-chair of the Expert Panel that developed the guideline update.”

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FDA Grants Orphan Drug Designation to Tesevatinib for EGFR-Mutated Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“The FDA granted orphan drug designation to tesevatinib for the treatment of EGFR-positive non-small cell lung cancer, according to the drug’s manufacturer.

“An ongoing phase 2 clinical trial will evaluate tesevatinib (Kadmon Holdings) — an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor — for the treatment of patients with EGFR-positive NSCLC that metastasized to the brain or the leptomeninges. The trial also will evaluate the agent for the treatment of glioblastoma.”

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Tagrisso Significantly Improves Progression-Free Survival in the Phase III FLAURA Trial for Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“AstraZeneca today announced that the Phase III FLAURA trial showed a statistically-significant and clinically-meaningful progression-free survival (PFS) benefit with Tagrisso (osimertinib) compared to current 1st-line standard-of-care treatment (erlotinib or gefitinib) in previously-untreated patients with locally-advanced or metastatic epidermal growth factor receptor mutation-positive (EGFRm) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

“Sean Bohen, Executive Vice President, Global Medicines Development and Chief Medical Officer at AstraZeneca, said: ‘The strong results from the FLAURA trial are very exciting news for patients with EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer, providing physicians with a potential new first-line treatment option to improve outcomes in this disease. We will now initiate discussions with global health authorities on the data and regulatory submissions.’ ”

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