Here to walk us through our current understanding of oncogene addiction and the resulting progress that’s been made in lung cancer treatment is Dr. Fred Hirsch from Mount Sinai.
The Role of Oncogene Addiction in RET Mutations & Treatment Selectionclose
Welcome to Closing the Gaps in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer on ReachMD, sponsored by Lilly. On today’s program, we’ll hear from Dr. Fred Hirsch, Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Hirsch joins us to discuss oncogene addiction and the progress that’s been made in lung cancer treatment. Let’s hear from him now.
Oncogenic addiction means that the tumor is dependent on one single molecular abnormality to drive the tumor growth. It can be mutation, it can be fusion, but it is usually one single abnormality who drives the whole process. And RET is one of them.
In lung cancer field, the whole progress in identification of oncogenic drivers started with EGFR and ALK, and RET is a later discovery of this abnormality as an oncogenic driver.
Now, oncogenic addiction means you can start out with this molecular abnormality and you can target this abnormality with specific therapy, but unfortunately that can down the road trigger other molecular abnormalities which we call acquired-resistant mechanisms, and these days we are very focused on identification of a resistant mechanism because we are in many cases able to target those resistant mechanisms as well.
And this is, of course, the way towards chronic treatment of a cancer.
For RET we haven’t come so far yet. We have identified more specific fusion partners. KIF5B is one specific fusion partner, probably the most common to RET, and there are some drugs which target this particular fusion with preliminary very encouraging effect.
So that is the background for molecular-targeted therapies, and that is the concept for molecular treatment and significance of molecular characterization of the patient’s tumor before treatment decision up front.
That was Dr. Fred Hirsch reviewing oncogene addiction and targeted therapies in lung cancer treatment. To revisit any part of this discussion or to find other episodes in this series, visit ReachMD.com/NSCLC, where you can Be Part of the Knowledge. Thanks for listening!