The LUNGevity Foundation announced this week it has launched the Rare Mutations and Fusions Lung Cancer Patient Gateway that will provide patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)—and their caregivers—with information on best treatment options, as well as access to educational webinars and support from the community of gateway users. The gateway is targeted to survivors of NSCLC who have gene mutations or fusions such as ROS1, MET, RET, NTRK, BRAF, and others.
Targeted therapies exist for nine DNA-based alterations in NSCLC. Of those nine mutations, ROS1, MET, RET, NTRK, and BRAF are considered rare, occurring in 4% or less of the patients with NSCLC.
“Thanks to research in non-small cell lung cancer, more biomarkers and targeted therapies to treat them have been discovered,” said Amy Moore, PhD, vice president, global engagement and patient partnerships at LUNGevity Foundation. “You often hear about the more common NSCLC biomarkers, such as ALK, EGFR, or KRAS. Our Rare Mutations and Fusions Lung Cancer Patient Gateway caters to patients living with cancer driven by lesser-known mutations. It is important to give these patients and their caregivers a dedicated space to learn about treatment options and access information related to their specific cancer type.”
The LUNGevity Foundation is a non-profit organization providing a broad range of services for lung cancer patients, survivors, and their caregivers. Its work includes aiding research into new therapies and diagnostics, public policy efforts, and the development of resources for those affected by the disease, which sees approximately 236,000 people in the US newly diagnosed with lung cancer each year.
“LUNGevity works tirelessly to advance research into early detection and more effective treatments, provide information and educational tools to empower patients and their caregivers, promote impactful public policy initiatives, and amplify the patient voice through research and engagement. The organization provides an active community for patients and survivors—and those who help them live better and longer lives,” according to information released by the organization.
The new rare mutations and fusions gateway, joins four other resource platforms including a broad gateway for all non-small cell lung cancers, as well as gateways for patients with the most common biomarkers for the disease: KRAS, ALK, and EGFR.
LUNGevity also recently completed a comprehensive study of the global lung cancer drug development landscape detailing the significant progress that has been made in developing new therapies for all forms of lung cancer. It noted that development of new therapeutic entities (TEs) includes new classes of drug targeting the disease such as protein degraders. Further, and unsurprisingly, the development of lung cancer therapies is increasingly driven by the presence of particular biomarkers—including immunotherapies. It also foresees potential challenges in this area including whether there will be enough patients to fill future clinical trials as targeted therapies look to address more rare forms of the disease.
“Lung cancer has been a proving ground for precision medicine, and we’ve seen several improvements in targeted therapies in recent years,” said Moore. “However, we need to consider how these new drugs add value to patients and improve outcomes. Having a holistic landscape of these drugs will help drive future innovation in the areas that need it most.”