The potential role of new targeted therapies in the treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer

Author(s): Francesca Casaluce, Assunta Sgambato, Paolo Maione, Antonio Rossi, Carmine Ferrara, Alba Napolitano, Giovanni Palazzolo, Fortunato Ciardiello, Cesare Gridelli

Platinum-based doublet chemotherapy is the standard treatment for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer, with a median survival and 1-year survival of 8–10 weeks and 30–40%, respectively. A better knowledge of cancer biology and mechanisms of oncogenesis has allowed the identification of several potential molecular targets for cancer treatment, such as VEGF, EGFR, ALK and c-MET. The identification of several factors, including both the genetic profile of the patients and the biological characteristics of the disease, remains crucial to the overall success of such targeted therapies. Targeted molecular therapeutic approaches have already become an integral part of modern state-of-the-art cancer therapy. This review will focus on the well-characterized, therapeutically relevant molecular events in non-small-cell lung cancer patients and several inhibitors used in clinical practice and/or in development.