Lung Cancer Dispatch
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Non-Uniform Genetic Mutations Identified in Lung Cancers Could Lead to Targeted Treatment

Non-Uniform Genetic Mutations Identified in Lung Cancers Could Lead to Targeted Treatment | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"The research, published in the journal Oncotarget, explored tumour heterogeneity – where different cells have different appearances or their own DNA signatures within the same cancer. Such differences could make it difficult to design effective, targeted treatment strategies.


"Firstly they confirmed the mutual exclusivity between the EGFR mutation and either the KRAS or BRAF mutation. Secondly, they found that lung cancers driven by the EGFR gene mutation have that specific mutation present uniformly throughout the tumour, regardless of microscopic appearance. In stark contrast, they discovered that some tumours, with either KRAS or BRAF gene mutations, do not have the mutation present in all parts of the tumour.
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Editor's note: In recent years, lung cancer treatment has focused on the use of targeted therapy drugs. These drugs kill tumor cells that have certain cancer-causing genetic mutations, while generally leaving healthy cells unharmed. Oncologists use genetic testing to see if a patient's tumor has any specific genetic mutations that can be targeted by a specific drug. According to the research described here, different parts of a tumor may have different mutations that can be targeted by different drugs. This makes treatment more complicated, but continued research could lead to more effective treatments.

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Medical Xpress  |  Apr 23, 2014

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Biomarker-Guided Targeted Therapy Is Becoming a Reality

A massive database study performed recently in France demonstrates that genetic testing of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors for disease-relevant biomarkers is feasible, and indeed already helps guide treatment strategies for patients. France’s National Cancer Institute funds routine assessment of genetic alterations in six genes for NSCLC patients: EGFR, KRAS, ALK, BRAF, HER2, and PI3K. Since April 2012, these genetic analyses have been collected into a database. By now, biomarker assessments have been performed for 10,000 NSCLC patients. Of the patients for whom treatment data was available, over half received therapies guided directly by their biomarker testing profile. For example, over half of patients who were found to have a mutation in the EGFR gene were treated with EGFR inhibitors. As the database continues to grow, researchers recommend that newer biomarkers, like the ROS1 gene, should be added to the analysis. Furthermore, they urge that the availability of clinical trials of biomarker-targeted treatments needs to be increased.

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CancerNetwork | Jun 4, 2013

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Cancer Drug Tafinlar Receives Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Lung Cancer

Cancer Drug Tafinlar Receives Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The application for dabrafenib (Tafinlar) as a treatment for certain lung cancer cases has been given a boost with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designating it a breakthrough therapy. Tafinlar is being investigated as a therapy for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have a mutation called BRAF V600E in the BRAF gene and have received at least one previous round of chemotherapy. In a recent clinical trial, Tafinlar exhibited antitumor activity in such patients. The breakthrough therapy designation provides increased drug development guidance from the FDA and accelerated approval for drugs that treat serious or life-threatening conditions and that provide a substantial improvement over currently available treatments. Tafinlar is already approved for use in certain types of skin cancer.

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ASCO Post  |  Jan 13, 2014

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Cancer Drug Targeting BRAF Gene May Be Effective in Lung Cancer

A small subset of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), especially those with lung adenocarcinoma, have a mutation in the BRAF gene called V600E. An ongoing phase II clinical trial is investigating whether the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib (Tafinlar) benefits patients with this mutation. Tafinlar is currently approved for treatment of the skin cancer melanoma. Recently released trial results show that the drug partially shrank tumors in 40% of advanced NSCLC patients whose cancer had worsened after at least one round of chemotherapy. Another 20% of study participants maintained stable disease (tumors neither shrinking nor growing). Almost half of the patients currently remain on the treatment. These findings are the first evidence that treatments targeting the BRAF V600E mutation may be effective in lung cancer.

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ASCO Daily News | June 4, 2013

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