• Ziqi Yue, PharmD

Promising Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Clinical Trials in the U.S.

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

Lung cancer is the most common cancer in China and the second most common cancer in the

United States (Thorac Cancer, 2019). Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most frequent type of lung cancer. Approximately 80 to 85% of patients are diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer among all lung cancer diagnoses each year (Ann Oncol, 2016). The treatment plans of non-small cell lung cancer are usually based on the stage of cancer. For early stages from stage 0 and stage 1, a patient may need only surgery. For later stages, such as stage 3, a combination of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy (for example, Imfinzi) may be indicated based on the patient’s health status and disease burden to prevent the cancer from recurring or spreading (American Cancer Society, 2019).

Lung cancer, like all the other types of cancer, is the result of gene mutations. Therefore, newer drug developments for cancer are mainly targeted therapies and immune therapies, as they can target the mutant gene or cancer cell and have a more tolerable side effect profile.

Scientists and physicians are actively working to advance lung cancer treatments. There are a total of 2539 studies focusing on NSCLC, with 540 studies open in the United States (, 2020). Libtayo® (cemiplimab) by Sanofi targets NSCLC patients who tested positive for a protein called PD-L1 in more than 50% of tumor cells. The phase 3 results have shown a significant decrease in the risk of death by 32.4% with Libtayo® alone compared to standard chemotherapy (Sanofi, 2020).

Takeda Pharmaceutical is investigating a new anti-cancer drug, Mobocertinib (TAK-788), which focuses on NSCLC patients with a specific epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation (Takeda, 2020). EGFR mutation is a genetic mutation that results in abnormal cell growth. Studies showed that 48% of patients with lung cancer in China have EGFR gene mutation, compared to 23% of patients with EGFR mutation in America (American Journal of Cancer Research, 2015). However, national survey data showed that only 9.6% of NSCLC patients in China were tested for EGFR mutation (Journal of Thoracic Oncology, 2016), meaning that many patients may miss out on the opportunity to try more targeted therapies. Targeted therapies for stage IV disease with EGFR mutations are better tolerated by patients than standard chemotherapies and are associated with significantly improved overall survival rates.

Want to learn more about NSCLC clinical trials in the U.S.? Contact RangeLight Health today to receive a second opinion from a top U.S.-based lung cancer expert.

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