RET rearrangements are observed in 1–2% of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients and result in the constitutive activation of downstream pathways normally implied in cell proliferation, growth, differentiation and survival. In NSCLC patients, RET rearrangements have been associated with a history of non-smoking, a higher rate of brain metastasis at initial diagnosis and a low immune infiltrate. Traditionally, RET fusions are considered mutually exclusive with other oncogenic drivers, even though a co-occurrence with EGFR mutations and MET amplifications has been observed. Cabozantinib, vandetanib and lenvatinib are the first multi-kinase inhibitors tested in RET-rearranged NSCLC patients with contrasting results. More recently, two selective RET inhibitors, selpercatinib and pralsetinib, demonstrated higher efficacy rates and good tolerability and they were approved for the treatment of patients with metastatic RET fusion-positive NSCLC on the bases of the results of phase II studies. Two ongoing phase III clinical trials are currently comparing selpercatinib or pralsetinib to standard first line treatments and will definitively establish their efficacy in RET-positive NSCLC patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research