New molecular targeted therapies for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer
Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a uniformly fatal disease and most patients will present with advanced stage. Treatment outcomes remain unsatisfactory, with low long-term survival rates. Standard treatment, such as palliative chemotherapy and radiotherapy, offers a median survival not exceeding 1 year. Hence, considerable efforts have started to be made in order to identify new biological agents which may safely and effectively be administered to advanced NSCLC patients. Two cancer cell pathways in particular have been exploited, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) pathways. However, novel targeted therapies that interfere with other dysregulated pathways in lung cancer are already in the clinic. This review outlines the most promising research approaches to the treatment of NSCLC, discussed according to the specific molecular pathway targeted.