Thomas J. Lynch, MD, CEO, chairman, Massachusetts General Hospital Physicians Organization, discusses targeting EGFR mutation subtypes as a frontline treatment for lung cancer.
Thomas J. Lynch, MD, CEO, chairman, Massachusetts General Hospital Physicians Organization, 2013 Giant of Cancer Care: Lung Cancer, discusses targeting EGFR mutation subtypes as a frontline treatment for lung cancer.
Over the years, researchers have learned that the unique sensitivity in lung cancer with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) is driven by the presence of EGFR mutations. A common challenge faced by oncologists, Lynch explains, is how to treat patients based on the individual mutations that are discovered through molecular testing.
Most mutation subtypes, such as exon 19 and exon 20, are relatively common, Lynch explains. However, 11% of patients have more uncommon mutations, which can be challenging to treat. Common EGFR mutations are targeted with therapies such as gefitinib, afatinib, and erlotinib, and researchers are investigating if these agents can also be used to treat the less common drivers. Not all of these mutations confer sensitivity to TKIs, Lynch adds.