Novel emerging molecular targets in non-small cell lung cancer

Sara Elena Rebuzzi, Lodovica Zullo, Giovanni Rossi, Massimiliano Grassi, Veronica Murianni, Marco Tagliamento, Arsela Prelaj, Simona Coco, Luca Longo, Maria Giovanna Dal Bello, Angela Alama, Chiara Dellepiane, Elisa Bennicelli, Umberto Malapelle, Carlo Genova

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In the scenario of systemic treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, one of the most relevant breakthroughs is represented by targeted therapies. Throughout the last years, inhibitors of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), c-Ros oncogene 1 (ROS1), and V-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B (BRAF) have been approved and are currently used in clinical practice. However, other promising molecular drivers are rapidly emerging as therapeutic targets. This review aims to cover the molecular alterations with a potential clinical impact in NSCLC, including amplifications or mutations of the mesenchymal–epithelial transition factor (MET), fusions of rearranged during transfection (RET), rearrangements of the neurotrophic tyrosine kinase (NTRK) genes, mutations of the Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene (KRAS) and phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase, catalytic subunit alpha (PIK3CA), as well as amplifications or mutations of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Additionally, we summarized the current status of targeted agents under investigation for such alterations. This revision of the current literature on emerging molecular targets is needed as the evolving knowledge on novel actionable oncogenic drivers and targeted agents is expected to increase the proportion of patients who will benefit from tailored therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2625
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2021


  • HER2
  • KRAS
  • MET
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • NTRK
  • PIK3CA
  • RET
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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