Non-small cell lung cancer: land of conquest for immunotherapy

Enrico Munari, Giuseppe Bogina


Until recently, one of the main aims of cancer research was finding potential, targetable molecular alterations within neoplastic cells. For lung cancer, this struggle has led to the identification of driver alterations of oncogenes, like EGFR mutations and ALK translocations. As a result, while chemotherapy regimens have not changed in the last 15 years, the discovery of tyrosine-kinase inhibitors for EGFR (gefitinib, erlotinib, afatinib, osimertinib) and ALK (crizotinib, alectinib, ceritinib, brigatinib) has had an impact on the survival rate of patients with such genetic alterations, although present in less than 15% of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cases in Caucasian cohorts.