RET Proto-Oncogene-Not Such an Obvious Starting Point in Cancer Therapy

Cancers (Basel). 2022 Oct 27;14(21):5298. doi: 10.3390/cancers14215298.


Mutations and fusions of RET (rearranged during transfection) gene are detected in a few common types of tumors including thyroid or non-small cells lung cancers. Multiple kinase inhibitors (MKIs) do not show spectacular effectiveness in patients with RET-altered tumors. Hence, recently, two novel RET-specific inhibitors were registered in the US and in Europe. Selpercatinib and pralsetinib showed high efficacy in clinical trials, with fewer adverse effects, in comparison to previously used MKIs. However, the effectiveness of these new drugs may be reduced by the emergence of resistance mutations in RET gene and activation of different activating signaling pathways. This review presents the function of the normal RET receptor, types of molecular disturbances of the RET gene in patients with various cancers, methods of detecting these abnormalities, and the effectiveness of modern anticancer therapies (ranging from immunotherapies, through MKIs, to RET-specific inhibitors).

Keywords: RET; non-small cell lung cancer; pralsetinib; selpercatinib; thyroid cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

Grant support

This research received no external funding.