Targeted therapy in non-small cell lung cancer: a focus on epidermal growth factor receptor mutations.

The main molecular targeting of lung cancer [non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)] concerns mutations of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). The awaited responsiveness of tumors carrying these mutations is high with for instance 60% to 80% with tyrosine kinase inhibitors hitting EGFR mutations. The EGFR T790M as a secondary mutation is responsible for the occurrence of a resistance phenomenon. A multitude of drugs have been produced and tested with the property of a specific binding at the EGFR T790M site. There is currently an evolution oriented to a robust genotyping methods allowing the identification of given molecular anomalies (pyrosequencing for instance) towards the consideration of a much larger set of molecular anomalies under the form of a global genotyping realized with the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS). This phase of whole genome analysis necessitates the introduction of a specialized staff for data treatment. A possible substitution plasma/tumor for the mutation analyses is perceptible in lung cancer, a preference being however given to the intratumoral direct investigation when this is feasible. EGFR mutations as targetable anomalies are illustrative examples, that the management of NSCLC is currently drawing a significant benefit from personalized therapy.

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