Current status of targeted therapy in non-small cell lung cancer

Drugs Today (Barc). 2014 Jul;50(7):503-25. doi: 10.1358/dot.2014.50.7.2185913.


Tumor tissue biomarkers are the basis for targeted therapy in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). These biomarkers either reflect the target of the specific drug or some factor that might abrogate the effect of the drug. These targeted drugs are small-molecule inhibitors of a specific tyrosine kinase or a monoclonal antibody against a specific receptor. In this review, tissue biomarkers in NSCLC and companion diagnostics will be described, followed by an overview of targeted therapy to EGF/EGFR, HER2, VEGF/VEGFR, ALK, KRAS, BRAF, MEK and MET and some of the newer potential targets. Recent initiatives include the Lung Cancer Matrix Network, the BATTLE trials and the Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium. There are a number of key clinical trials in targeted therapy in NSCLC which will be reporting during the next year.

Keywords: Biomarkers; EGFR; HER2; Non-small cell lung cancer; Targeted therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / enzymology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Discovery
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents