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Researchers Develop Process to Help Personalize Treatment for Lung Cancer Patients

"Moffitt Cancer Center researchers, in collaboration with the Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium, have developed a process to analyze mutated genes in lung adenocarcinoma to help better select personalized treatment options for patients. Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of lung cancer in the United States with approximately 130,000 people diagnosed each year.


"The study, published in the May 21 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, investigated 10 highly mutated and altered genes that contribute to cancer progression, termed oncogenic driver genes, in more than 1,000 lung cancer patients. Patients with adenocarcinoma have a high probability of having mutated oncogenic driver genes in their tumors."


Editor's note: More and more, doctors are prescribing personalized cancer treatments based on genetic mutations found in patients' tumors. Learn more about personalized medicine for lung cancer in The Basics.

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Medical Xpress  |  Jun 3, 2014

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Responses with Crizotinib in MET-Amplified Lung Cancer Show New Targetable Form of Disease

Responses with Crizotinib in MET-Amplified Lung Cancer Show New Targetable Form of Disease | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"In 2011, the drug crizotinib earned accelerated approval by the US FDA to target the subset of advanced non-small cell lung cancers caused by rearrangements of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene, and subsequently was granted regular approval in 2013. The drug also has shown dramatic responses in patients whose lung cancers harbored a different molecular abnormality, namely ROS1 gene rearrangements. Previously unreported phase 1 clinical trial results now show that crizotinib may have a third important molecular target. In advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients with intermediate and high amplifications of the MET gene, crizotinib produced either disease stabilization or tumor response. Sixty-seven percent of patients with high MET amplification showed prolonged response to the drug, which lasted from approximately 6 months to nearly 2.5 years."


Editor's note: Crizotinib (aka Xalkori) is a targeted therapy drug that kills cancer cells by targeting certain molecules found in the cells. It was already known that crizotinib works well for some patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose cancer cells have mutations in the ALK gene and in the ROS1 gene; such mutations, or "molecular biomarkers," are detected by a medical procedure known as "molecular testing," or "genetic testing." Now, scientists say that crizotinib may also be effective for patients with advanced NSCLC whose tumors have abnormally high activity of a protein called MET, which can also be detected via molecular testing.

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ScienceDaily  |  May 31, 2014

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New EGFR Inhibitor AZD9291 Shows Promising Activity in Treatment-Resistant Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

New EGFR Inhibitor AZD9291 Shows Promising Activity in Treatment-Resistant Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Findings from a phase I study of a new mutant-selective epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor, AZD9291, point to a promising new treatment option for patients with advanced, EGFR-mutant, non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that is resistant to standard EGFR inhibitors. Roughly 50% of patients experienced tumor shrinkage, and the drug worked particularly well in patients with the T790M mutation (detected in 60% of patients), which causes the most common form of EGFR therapy resistance. The study was presented at a presscast in advance of the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting (Abstract 8009^)."


Editor's note: This story is about a new targeted therapy drug called AZD9291 that is designed to attack tumors with a mutation in the EGFR gene, as detected by molecular testing. In particular, it is designed for patients who are resistant to other so-called EGFR inhibitors as a result of developing a particular EGFR mutation known as T790M. In a clinical trial to test the drug in patients, it was found to show promising results for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with EGFR mutations, and even better results in patients with the T790M mutation.

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The ASCO Post  |  May 14, 2014

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Combination Therapies for Lung Cancer

Combination Therapies for Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"CANCER NETWORK: Dr. Jänne, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors are a mainstay of therapy for those advanced-stage lung cancer patients with tumors that harbor specific EGFR mutations. What have we learned in the last few years about which patients respond to which oral agents and antibodies against EGFR? "


Editor's note: While not strictly "news," this interview provides a good overview of currently available treatments for lung cancer.

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Cancer Network  |  Apr 25, 2014

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Personalized Medicine Best Way to Treat Cancer, Study Argues

Personalized Medicine Best Way to Treat Cancer, Study Argues | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Assessing the route to cancer on a case-by-case basis might make more sense than basing a patient's cancer treatment on commonly disrupted genes and pathways, a new study indicates. "This paper argues for the importance of personalized medicine, where we treat each person by looking for the etiology of the disease in patients individually," said the lead author. "The findings have ramifications on how we might best optimize cancer treatments as we enter the era of targeted gene therapy."

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ScienceDaily  |  Feb 24, 2014

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ScienceDaily  |  Feb 24, 2014

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Prevalence of New Genetic Driver in Lung Cancer Shown in Study

Prevalence of New Genetic Driver in Lung Cancer Shown in Study | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"A line has been drawn from mutation of the gene NTRK1, to its role as an oncogene in non-small cell lung cancer, to treatment that targets this mutation. 'Everything we know about lung cancer points to the idea that when we find one of these genetic drivers and can target it with a drug, patients will respond and tend to have a good amount of time on drug before it becomes ineffective. Obviously we can't guarantee the effectiveness of targeting the NTRK1 mutation at this point, but everything we know about these kinds of genes makes us extremely hopeful,' says one researcher."


Editor's note: A new targeted therapy treatment may be on the horizon for some lung cancer patients. Targeted therapies work by targeting specific molecules inside cancer cells. Often, these molecules are proteins that are mutated and cause cancer cells to multiply rapidly, contributing to tumor growth. There are several mutated proteins commonly found in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors. For a given patient, these can be detected by molecular testing, and based on the results, doctors can prescribe certain targeted therapy drugs. A newly discovered mutation called NTRK1 is being explored as a potential target for a new targeted therapy. To test the new drug, called LOXO-101, scientists have started a new clinical trial and are enrolling patients whose tumors have NTRK1 mutations.

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ScienceDaily  |  May 31, 2014

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US ‘Proof-of-Concept’ Trial Confirms Promise of Stratified Lung Cancer Treatment

US ‘Proof-of-Concept’ Trial Confirms Promise of Stratified Lung Cancer Treatment | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Routine tests that look for multiple, specific genetic changes in patients’ lung tumours could help doctors select targeted treatments, a US study has confirmed.


"The research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked simultaneously for ten specific cancer-driving genetic changes in the tumours of 733 patients with adenocarcinoma, the most common type of lung cancer."

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Cancer Research UK  |  May 21, 2014

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Molecular Tumor Board Helps in Advanced Cancer Cases

Molecular Tumor Board Helps in Advanced Cancer Cases | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it
With accelerating development of personalized cancer treatments matched to a patient's DNA sequencing, proponents say frontline physicians increasingly need help to maneuver through the complex genomic landscape to find the most effective, individualized therapy.


Editor's note: Learn more about personalized medicine and molecular (genetic) testing on our website.

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Medical Xpress  |  May 5, 2014

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Oncologists Differ Widely on Offering Cancer Gene Testing, Study Finds

Oncologists Differ Widely on Offering Cancer Gene Testing, Study Finds | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Many cancer researchers believe that cutting-edge advances in genomics will pave the way for personalized or "precision" cancer medicine for all patients in the near future. A new study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, however, suggest that not all doctors are ready to embrace tests that look for hundreds of DNA changes in patients' tumor samples, while others plan to offer this type of cancer gene testing to most of their patients. The findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.


"The wide variation in attitudes was in part determined by physicians' genomic confidence. Physicians who had a lot of confidence in their ability to use and explain genomic findings were more likely to want to prescribe the test and consider using test results when making treatment recommendations. Physicians with lower levels of genomic confidence were more reluctant to offer such testing. These findings are particularly interesting because the survey was carried out at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), which has a comprehensive research program that allows all consenting patients to have tumor testing that could find mutations and other DNA changes that drive their cancer. In some cases those genomic tumor profiles can provide targets for specific drugs known to be effective against particular mutations."


Editor's note: Cancer gene testing, or molecular testing, can be a powerful tool to help guide treatment decisions. Learn more about it.

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Medical Xpress  |  Mar 24, 2014

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