Understanding Histological Transformation in EGFR-positive NSCLC
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are a class of drugs used to treat patients with certain types of advanced-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Each TKI targets cancer cells with a specific mutation, including EGFR mutations. Five TKIs have been FDA-approved to treat patients with EGFR mutations: afatinib, dacomitinib, erlotinib, gefitinib, and osimertinib. While these treatments have had success in treating EGFR-positive NSCLC, many cancers begin to grow at point during treatment. In up to 15% of patients, cancer cells learn to evade treatment by transforming to small cell lung cancer (SCLC) cells and then continuing to grow. This is called histological transformation.
LUNGevity Foundation spoke with Helena Yu, MD, medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who is a specialist in treating patients with EGFR-positive NSCLC as well as the recipient of an EGFR Resisters/LUNGevity Lung Cancer Research Award in 2021. She explains how histological transformations are diagnosed and treated in EGFR-positive NSCLC patients. Read more.