Novel therapeutic targets in non-small cell lung cancer

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HighlightsNSCLC can be classified according to of distinct clinical or molecular characteristics.Multiple, mutually exclusive genetic derangements in NSCLC have been discovered.Targeting these deranged pathways is potentially more effective and less toxic.EGFR and ALK mutated NSCL have approved drugs, while others are under investigation.Acquired resistance and subsequent targeting is an important future challenge.Oncogenic driver mutations frequently occur in lung cancer and play role in carcinogenesis. These mutations are usually associated with distinct clinical and histological features and are attractive targets for anticancer therapy. Recently, several molecularly distinct phenotypes of NSCLC based on specific and mutually exclusive genetic derangements have been described. Few targets like epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene rearrangements have successfully been targeted with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and crizotinib, respectively. Many more inhibitors of specific driver mutations involving genes like ROS, c-MET, FGFR, mTOR, IGFR and RET are currently under development. However, efforts to target some mutated genes like K-RAS have been unsuccessful. Moreover, the emerging challenge of acquired resistance to initially effective therapy is becoming another major concern. In this review recent data on novel molecular targets and their future prospects are discussed.

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