New drugs in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer: Searching for the correct clinical development

Massimo Di Maio, Alessandro Morabito, Maria Carmela Piccirillo, Gennaro Daniele, Pasqualina Giordano, Raffaele Costanzo, Marita Georgia Riccardi, Gaetano Rocco, Nicola Normanno, Francesco Perrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Importance of the field: Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is one of the most active fields of research in oncology, with many drugs under clinical development. Most of these drugs offer novel mechanisms of action compared with drugs currently used in clinical practice. Areas covered in this review: In this article, results recently obtained with most promising new drugs for advanced NSCLC are briefly described. What the reader will gain: Most of the new drugs are currently being tested without a biomarker-driven selection, due to inadequate knowledge of predictive factors. A few drugs are tested in biologically selected samples of NSCLC patients. The results obtained with crizotinib in patients with ALK gene rearrangement are a good example of the speed with which biological discoveries can be translated to clinical testing. Take home message: Emerging clinical and molecular data demonstrate that NSCLC is a family of related but distinct diseases. Some drugs tested in unselected population will probably obtain an incremental benefit compared to the current standard, but this will not substantially change the unfavorable prognosis of NSCLC patients. By contrast, unprecedented and much more cost-effective results can be obtained when targeted agents are administered following appropriate biomarker-driven patient selection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1503-1514
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • BIBW-2992
  • cediranib
  • crizotinib
  • figitumumab
  • mapatumumab
  • motesanib
  • PARP inhibitors
  • PF00299804
  • vorinostat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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