Study Identifies Actionable Mutations in Young Lung Cancer Patients

Presented at the ongoing World Conference on Lung Cancer, the trial has identified 7 actionable genomic alterations in lung cancer patients under 40 years of age.

With an increased focus on personalized medicine, and the launch of trials like NCI-MATCH that has designed treatment arms based on a specific mutation that the person’s tumor harbors rather than tumor type, targeted treatment driven by genomic alterations is the new reality. An abstract presented at the ongoing 16th World Conference on Lung Cancer showed that lung cancer patients younger than 40 years may carry a driver mutation, which could make them eligible to receive targeted therapy.

Launched as the Genomics of Young Lung Cancer Study (GoYLC) in July 2014, the trial aims to identify the underlying cause of lung cancer in young adults who are often quite athletic and never smokers.

 In July 2014 the lead author on the study, Barbara Gitlitz, MD, associate professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles, and her research team initiated the enrollment of <40-year-old patients diagnosed with bronchogenic lung cancer. Median age among the 68 enrollees was 35 years and the number of male and female participants was nearly at par.

The team identified 7 genomic alterations of interest (EGFR, KRAS, HER2, BRAF, ALK, ROS1, RET) in the study population. A majority of patients (60) had adenocarcinoma, 7 had squamous cell lung cancer, and 1 had small cell lung cancer. Nearly 80% had stage 4 disease and the remaining presented with stage 1 to 3.

“The most commonly found mutations are ALK rearrangement, EGFR activating mutation, and ROS1,” said Gitlitz. “Preliminary results exceed our statistical expectation with 75 percent of our metastatic adenocarcinoma patients having an actionable mutation.”

The study has been facilitated by the the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute, a patient-centric, international research consortium and partner of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation.