Of the Several Exciting Agents in Late-Stage Development, Do Any Have the Potential to Dramatically Improve Survival?
Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 85% of all lung cancers; of these lung cancers, approximately 90% are EGFR wild-type/untested. Despite significant advances in the treatment of advanced/metastatic NSCLC in the first-line setting, treatment options for later-line settings have not changed over the past decade. Chemotherapies such as docetaxel (Sanofi’s Taxotere, generics) and pemetrexed (Eli Lilly’s Alimta) and the EGFR inhibitor erlotinib (Genentech/Roche/Chugai/Astellas’s Tarceva) remain the standards of care for EGFR wild-type/untested patients. No targeted agents are available in the second- and later-line settings; therefore, these patients remain difficult to treat. Thus, significant clinical and commercial opportunity remains for novel, highly efficacious, and tolerable therapies.