EGFR targeted therapies in lung cancer

Published on November 17, 2009 Archived on May 31, 2018   42 min

A selection of talks on Pharmaceutical Sciences

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My name is Pasi Janne from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. I'm going to talk today on the use of epidermal growth factor receptor targeted therapies in lung cancer.
As a background to the presentation today, I wanted to discuss the incidence of lung cancer. Lung cancer accounts for over 1 million cases of new cancer diagnosed annually around the world and for about 200,000 new individuals diagnosed in the United States. In the United States, it is the most common cause of cancer death for men and women, and unfortunately, the cure rate remains only at 15 percent. Approximately 85 percent of patients currently diagnosed with lung cancer are either former or current smokers, while a significant minority, 10 to 15 percent, are individuals that have never smoked cigarettes and yet develop lung cancer. Unfortunately, the median survival is also quite low, remaining only about 8 to 10 months, and the impact of chemotherapy has been relatively limited over the last 25 years.
This slide shows the change in five-year survival in lung cancer over the last several decades. As you can see in the mid 1970s, it remained about 12 percent, and although there's been improvements, and these are statistically significant into the 21st century, these are only modest at best. This slide demonstrates the number of
new cases and the number of deaths in men and women in the United States from lung cancer. As you can see, it's approximately 200,000 new individuals diagnosed every year and unfortunately, about 160,000 of these individuals will succumb to their disease annually.
We think about lung cancer and specifically non-small cell lung cancer. It is also not one disease. And the understanding of how this is not one disease has led to great advances in the therapies for lung cancer. The most common histologic subtype of lung cancer is adenocarcinoma of the lung, accounting for approximately 65 percent of new cases. A significant minority is made up by squamous cell carcinoma and then with other histologic subtypes rounding up the rest. Because therapies, specifically chemotherapy,