Emerging therapeutic agents for lung cancer

J Hematol Oncol. 2016 Dec 9;9(1):138. doi: 10.1186/s13045-016-0365-z.


Lung cancer continues to be the most common cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Recent advances in molecular diagnostics and immunotherapeutics have propelled the rapid development of novel treatment agents across all cancer subtypes, including lung cancer. Additionally, more pharmaceutical therapies for lung cancer have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in the last 5 years than in previous two decades. These drugs have ushered in a new era of lung cancer managements that have promising efficacy and safety and also provide treatment opportunities to patients who otherwise would have no conventional chemotherapy available. In this review, we summarize recent advances in lung cancer therapeutics with a specific focus on first in-human or early-phase I/II clinical trials. These drugs either offer better alternatives to drugs in their class or are a completely new class of drugs with novel mechanisms of action. We have divided our discussion into targeted agents, immunotherapies, and antibody drug conjugates for small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We briefly review the emerging agents and ongoing clinical studies. We have attempted to provide the most current review on emerging therapeutic agents on horizon for lung cancer.

Keywords: Immunotherapy; Lung cancer; Phase I/II clinical trial; Targeted agents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Immunotherapy / trends
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / drug therapy


  • Antineoplastic Agents