Timothy F. Burns, MD, PhD, discusses key developments in the frontline treatment of patients with RET-positive non–small cell lung cancer.
Timothy F. Burns, MD, PhD, medical oncologist, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, associate professor of medicine, associate program director, Research, Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program, University of Pittsburgh, discusses key developments in the frontline treatment of patients with RET-positive non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Recent considerations for first-line therapy have focused on RET translocations or RET fusions. Although these targets are well known, specific drugs to address these markers were not available until recently, and previous agents utilized in this setting elicited only modest response rates of approximately 30%, Burns says. Additionally, patients with RET-positive NSCLC can be difficult to treat as they often do not respond to immunotherapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of both modalities, Burns explains.
Agents such as selpercatinib (Retevmo) and pralsetinib (Gavreto) have received regulatory approval, and both specifically target RET alterations, Burns adds. The agents have demonstrated high response rates of approximately 60%. In those who are treatment naïve, response rates are as high as 85%, Burns says. For many of these patients, the median overall survival has not yet been reached, but could range from 18 months to 2 years. As such, these agents represent a major advance for this patient population, Burns concludes.