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A monumental step forward in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer patients harboring a KRAS mutation, Dr. Christina Brzezniak

Virginia Cancer Specialists Practice Blog

June 16, 2021
Virginia Cancer Specialists » VCS Practice News » Physicians » VCS Practice News » Christina Brzezniak DO » A monumental step forward in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer patients harboring a KRAS mutation, Dr. Christina Brzezniak

A monumental step forward in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer patients harboring a KRAS mutation, available at Virginia Cancer Specialists:

Non-small cell lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the United States.  According to the American Cancer Society approximately 229,000 new lung cancer cases were diagnosed and 136,000 deaths from the disease occurred in 2020.  This is more deaths than breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer combined.

Up to 30% of patients diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer will harbor a mutation of the KRAS gene, representing the most prevalent driver of non-small cell lung cancer growth.  This mutation confers a poor prognosis, and resistance to many available treatment options.  Historically, every attempt to target this mutation has proven unsuccessful.  Despite great efforts and a wealth of clinical research, no clinically beneficial improvement had been made in the outcomes for KRAS mutated patients over the past 15 years of research.  It was felt that the KRAS mutation was “undrugable” as a target and progress in outcomes for patients with KRAS mutation has been elusive.

Patients harboring this mutation who progressed after chemotherapy and immunotherapy, the standard of care treatment remained docetaxel, which confers a less than 10% response with the majority of patients progressing after just 4 months.  Thus, the needs for further therapies in this patient population was deeply needed.

A promising breakthrough in targeting KRAS mutated non-small cell lung cancers published June 4, 2021 in the New England Journal of Medicine has been met with great excitement.  In this phase 2 trial for which patient’s at Virginia Cancer Specialist participated, sortorasib, a small molecule specifically directed towards KRAS, demonstrated durable clinical benefit, even in patients who have been heavily pre-treated.  This is a monumental step forward in treatment options for patients harboring KRAS mutations.  Of the 124 patients enrolled on study who were able to be evaluated for response the objective response rate was 37.1% (95% [CI] 28.6 to 46.2), with disease control and 80.6% of patients (95% [CI] 72.6 to 87.2).  While further phase 3 research will move forward with this drug it has provided a beacon of hope in continued quest to improve the outcomes of KRAS mutated lung cancer patients.

At Virginia Cancer Specialists we have dedicated Medical Oncologists on the cutting edge of lung cancer treatment and care.  We have numerous clinical research studies to offer in the care of lung cancer with participation on this KRAS mutation state of the art clinical trial as just one example.  Please feel free to contact me or our team at Virginia Cancer Specialists if we can be of any help to you or your family.

#NSCLC #lungcancer #clinicaltrials

Alexander I Spira, MD, PhD, FACP – Sotorasib for Lung Cancers with KRAS p.G12C Mutation, The New England Journal of Medicine