Indian Journal of Cancer
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   2017| December  | Volume 54 | Issue 5  
    Online since December 29, 2017

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Oncogenic drivers in nonsmall cell lung cancer and resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors
A Pathak, S Rajappa, A Gore
December 2017, 54(5):1-8
DOI:10.4103/ijc.IJC_505_17  PMID:29292702
Nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is increasingly being treated with targeted therapies. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been extensively studied in NSCLC as an oncogenic driver. However, the efficacy of the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) is adversely impacted by the development of resistance. The occurrence of de novo resistance to EGFR TKIs is attributed to multiple mechanisms such as point mutations of oncogenes and chromosomal rearrangements. The development of acquired resistance to EGFR TKIs is facilitated by secondary mutations, phenotypical transformation, aberrance of downstream pathways, and activation of alternate signaling pathways. The T790M mutation is the most common mutation that accounts for about half of the acquired resistance to EGFR TKIs. This review article provides an overview of the common oncogenic drivers, targeted therapies for NSCLC, and the established mechanisms implicated in the development of resistance to the EGFR TKIs.
  3,367 1,450 1
Epidermal growth factor receptor mutation testing: From conventional to real-time diagnosis of lung cancer
T Raja, NK Warrier
December 2017, 54(5):9-14
DOI:10.4103/ijc.IJC_507_17  PMID:29292703
Patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) commonly harbor epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation. Due to the complex disease pathology, early-stage diagnosis of patients with EGFR mutation is essential to make appropriate treatment decision. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are commonly used for their treatment, but almost half of the patients with EGFR mutation do not respond to the available TKIs and develop acquired resistance owing to T790M mutation. The presence of T790M mutation also warrants a robust diagnostic method so as to allow clinicians to modify cancer treatment. Numerous diagnostic techniques for the detection of EGFR mutation, however, their performance and working profile variation necessitate a comparative evaluation for the selection of a better diagnostic method or an advanced combination of theirs. The present review compares various EGFR-mutation detection techniques such as Sanger sequencing, next-generation sequencing, and different polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods. It also highlights the role of advanced PCR-based techniques, i.e., real-time or quantitative PCR and digital droplet PCR (ddPCR) for detecting EGFR mutations in NSCLC patients. ddPCR, when compared to other methods, shows enhanced sensitivity, superior reliability, and improved time and cost-effectiveness. Moreover, its ability to detect EGFR mutations including T790M, in both conventional (solid tissue biopsy samples) and nonconventional sample sources (blood, plasma, and urine samples), gives it an edge over other diagnostic techniques and support its integration in clinical practice setting.
  3,332 458 1
Liquid biopsy: A potential and promising diagnostic tool for advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer patients
DC Doval, R Deshpande, B Dhabhar, KG Babu, K Prabhash, R Chopra, PV Sripada, C Deshmukh, M Suryavanshi
December 2017, 54(5):25-30
DOI:10.4103/ijc.IJC_514_17  PMID:29292705
More than 50% of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cases harbor an actionable mutation, and molecular testing at different intervals can help in personalized and targeted treatment. Core tissue biopsy and needle biopsy done at the time of diagnosis/disease progression are interventional, time-consuming and can affect the patients adversely. Noninterventional biomarker testing by liquid biopsy promises to revolutionize advanced stage cancer screening. The present report was formulated based on an expert panel meeting of renowned oncologists who gave their opinions for minimally invasive liquid biopsy to detect targetable molecular biomarkers in advanced NSCLC cases. An exhaustive literature search was done to support their recommendations. Clinical utility of minimally invasive liquid biopsy, for detection of molecular biomarkers in advanced stage NSCLC patients, was broadly discussed by the key opinion leaders.
  3,098 401 1
A review on adverse event profiles of epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitors in nonsmall cell lung cancer patients
B Biswas, N Ghadyalpatil, MV Krishna, J Deshmukh
December 2017, 54(5):55-64
DOI:10.4103/ijc.IJC_589_17  PMID:29292709
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have revolutionized the treatment of EGFR-mutant nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC). These EGFR TKIs demonstrate a different adverse event (AE) profile as compared to conventional chemotherapy agents. They are more commonly associated with cutaneous AEs and diarrhea while hematological AEs occurred commonly with chemotherapy agents. These AEs are the extension of pharmacological effect and occur as a result of blockade of EGFR-regulated pathways in the skin and gastrointestinal tract. This review article sheds light on the safety profile of first-, second-, and third-generation EGFR TKIs based on data obtained from several clinical trials conducted in NSCLC patients and highlights trials comparing these agents with the conventional chemotherapy agents. The strategies to manage EGFR TKI-related AEs are also reviewed.
  2,894 362 1
Epidermal growth factor receptor T790M testing in progressed lung cancer: A review of sensitive methods for analysis of tissue and liquid biopsy samples
A Chougule, S Basak
December 2017, 54(5):45-54
DOI:10.4103/ijc.IJC_540_17  PMID:29292708
Lung cancer is one of the major causes of mortality worldwide and is on the rise in India. The identification of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations in nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has paved the way for personalized therapy in lung cancer with EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Despite the proven efficacy of EGFR-TKIs in patients harboring EGFR mutations, their clinical utility is limited by the development of acquired resistance mechanisms by the tumor cells. T790M mutation accounts for 60% of all resistance mechanisms to EGFR TKIs and is responsible for treatment failure with first- and second-generation TKIs. With the development of novel therapeutic agents such as osimertinib to overcome this resistance mechanism, it is essential to detect patients harboring T790M mutation. There are several limitations with the use of tissue biopsy specimens for molecular testing such as poor quality and quantity of sample, tumor heterogeneity, occurrence of complications, and issues with repeat biopsy. Liquid biopsy offers a noninvasive approach that can be used for diagnostic purposes as well as for monitoring treatment response and evaluation of resistance mechanisms. This review focuses on the methods for molecular testing of tissue and liquid biopsy specimens for EGFR mutations, particularly EGFR T790M mutation.
  2,634 324 2
Role of epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitors in the management of central nervous system metastases in epidermal growth factor receptor mutation-positive nonsmall cell lung cancer patients
U Batra, N Lokeshwar, S Gupta, P Shirsath
December 2017, 54(5):37-44
DOI:10.4103/ijc.IJC_532_17  PMID:29292707
Metastases to central nervous system (CNS) are very common in nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-positive mutation. Brain is the most affected part of CNS where blood–brain barrier (BBB) presents a challenge to currently available chemotherapeutic agents as well as first- (erlotinib and gefitinib) and second (afatinib)-generation EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) due to their poor penetrability. A rapid development of EGFR T790M secondary mutation is another cause of treatment failure, and patients tend to progress despite initial response to first- and second-generation EGFR TKIs. Moreover, conventional treatments with heavy dose of radiation have a number of side effects compared to benefits attained. Recently, third-generation EGFR TKIs have been developed with proven efficacy in various clinical setups against EGFR mutation-positive cases of brain metastases in NSCLC. One such agent, osimertinib, is available in India. It has not only better penetration ability to BBB compared to other EGFR TKIs but also has significantly increased potency for most prevalent EGFR T790M mutations. Furthermore, it is active in patients who progress upon first- and second-generation EGFR TKIs. The purpose of this review article is to present an updated clinical preview of EGFR TKIs over conventional treatment, mainly radiation therapy to consider them as “use first” agents against EGFR T790M mutation in the treatment of patients with advanced NSCLC.
  2,442 308 1
Epidermal growth factor receptor T790M mutation: A major culprit in the progression of epidermal growth factor receptor-driven non-small cell lung cancer and the role of repeat biopsy
S Aggarwal, S Patil, N Rohtagi
December 2017, 54(5):15-24
DOI:10.4103/ijc.IJC_510_17  PMID:29292704
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for the majority of primary lung cancer cases worldwide. The activating mutations of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) have been demonstrated to associate with the development of NSCLC, with T790M mutation being the most common. Over the years, EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) were developed to target EGFR-related mutations. However, patients with activating EGFR mutations who are initially responsive to EGFR-TKIs eventually develop acquired resistance after a median progression-free survival of 10–16 months, followed by disease progression. Recently, the third-generation EGFR inhibitors have emerged as potential therapeutics to block the growth of EGFR T790M-positive tumors. This article reviews the emerging data regarding EGFR mutations and clinical evidence on third-generation agents against EGFR T790M mutation in the treatment of patients with advanced NSCLC. It also reviews the role of repeat biopsy in improving the success rates of treatment of EGFR T790M-derived drug-resistant NSCLC.
  2,304 255 2
Advanced therapeutic options and importance of rebiopsy in epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitor-progressed nonsmall cell lung carcinoma patients: An expert opinion
Suresh H Advani, Hemant Malhotra, Raju Titus Chacko, Maheboob Basade, Pavithran Keechilat, PN Mahapatra, Chanchal Goswami, TP Sahoo, Chirag Shah
December 2017, 54(5):31-36
DOI:10.4103/ijc.IJC_520_17  PMID:29292706
Advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment is primarily based on platinum-based chemotherapy. Although epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) targeting has shifted the treatment paradigm toward personalized tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), resistance develops inevitably and EGFR T790M is the most common acquired resistance mechanism. Rebiopsy of resistant NSCLC cases can provide additional information on the underlying resistant mechanisms and therefore can help clinicians in taking better management decisions. An expert panel meeting of renowned cancer oncologists was held to discuss the management of advanced-stage NSCLC. The present paper is based on the recommendations made by the expert panel and is supported by an exhaustive literature search. It was suggested that identification of driver mutation leads to better treatment decisions. TKIs have proven to be better treatment option in EGFR-positive patients as compared to chemotherapy. Third-generation TKIs (osimertinib) promise to bring optimal and improved care for NSCLC cases failing first-line TKI treatment.
  2,182 259 1
Importance of repeat tissue biopsy and tissue-based epidermal growth factor receptor T790M testing in progressed nonsmall cell lung carcinoma patients upon negative plasma genotyping for selection of third-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy: A case study
R Mistry, A Patil
December 2017, 54(5):65-66
DOI:10.4103/ijc.IJC_545_17  PMID:29292710
Resistance to 1st or 2nd generation epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) - tyrosine kinases (TKIs) develops predominantly due to an acquired mutation, EGFR T790M. Third-generation EGFR-TKIs have demonstrated potent activity against TKI resistance mediated by EGFR T790M. Thus, it become critical to identify T790M mutation on disease progression. Analysis of tumor tissue biopsy material is considered as gold standard for mutation detection. However, lung re-biopsy in a progressed patient involves several challenges – access to tumor, patient's willingness, safety, cost. Minimally invasive plasma circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) evolved as an alternative for detection of EGFR T790M mutation when tumor genotyping is not feasible. Although a positive T790M result from ctDNA analysis is actionable, caution should be exercised in interpreting negative plasma results. A negative result may imply the absence of a mutation or merely that a patient's tumor is not shedding ctDNA at detectable levels, thus necessitating a confirmatory tissue biopsy to rule out a false negative plasma result. In this case report, we described a 78-year-old female who underwent a reflexed tumor biopsy and tissue based testing upon negative plasma genotyping. Our case report exhibited the importance to follow proposed T790M plasma testing algorithm to screen eligible patients for 3rd generation TKI therapy.
  1,664 222 2
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