Dr. Portnoy on the Importance of Driver Mutations in the Treatment of NSCLC

David C. Portnoy, MD
Published: Friday, Feb 23, 2018



David C. Portnoy, MD, medical oncologist and hematologist, West Cancer Center, discusses the importance of driver mutations in the treatment of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

All patients with NSCLC used to be treated with a one-size-fits-all approach of chemotherapy, says Portnoy. This was not beneficial to the majority of patients, and there were many limitations. Additionally, life expectancy with chemotherapy alone in a patient with NSCLC is less than 1 year.

With the current knowledge of driver mutations in NSCLC, targeted agents have been developed to replace chemotherapy in patients who express these particular molecular aberrations. There are treatments for EGFR, ALK, ROS1, HER2, and BRAF mutations, but mutations such as MET, KRAS, and PIK3CA still lack treatment options, Portnoy says. Even though technology is advanced enough to identify these mutations in patients, many of the potential treatment options are still in the research or clinical trial setting.


David C. Portnoy, MD, medical oncologist and hematologist, West Cancer Center, discusses the importance of driver mutations in the treatment of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

All patients with NSCLC used to be treated with a one-size-fits-all approach of chemotherapy, says Portnoy. This was not beneficial to the majority of patients, and there were many limitations. Additionally, life expectancy with chemotherapy alone in a patient with NSCLC is less than 1 year.

With the current knowledge of driver mutations in NSCLC, targeted agents have been developed to replace chemotherapy in patients who express these particular molecular aberrations. There are treatments for EGFR, ALK, ROS1, HER2, and BRAF mutations, but mutations such as MET, KRAS, and PIK3CA still lack treatment options, Portnoy says. Even though technology is advanced enough to identify these mutations in patients, many of the potential treatment options are still in the research or clinical trial setting.



View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: Oncology Best Practice™: Choosing Therapies for Patients with EGFR-mutant Lung Cancers: More Options... More Decisions... Better OutcomesApr 27, 20182.0
Community Practice Connections™: Translating Research to Inform Changing Paradigms: Assessment of Emerging Immuno-Oncology Strategies and Combinations Across Lung, Head and Neck, and Bladder CancersApr 28, 20182.0
Publication Bottom Border
Border Publication
x