A systematic review of targeted agents for non-small cell lung cancer

<p><b>Background:</b> advanced-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is characterized by having limited treatment options and thus a poor prognosis. However, new treatment options, in the form of targeted agents (TA), have emerged during recent years. This systematic review aims to provide an overview of the accessible literature in PubMed evaluating TA used on NSCLC patients, and the resulting survival outcomes.</p> <p><b>Method:</b> this systematic literature review was conducted by reviewing all relevant literature in PubMed. Six separate searches were performed: Three searches where controlled entry terms were used and three free text searches. Furthermore, other relevant publications were included manually. A total of seventy-two studies met the search criteria and were thus further analyzed and evaluated.</p> <p><b>Results:</b> In the included studies, various TAs and their effect on different molecular targets have been evaluated. Clinical responses vary considerably among the different genetic aberrations. The majority of studies evaluated TA for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations and TA for echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4-anaplastic lymphoma kinase (EML4-ALK) rearrangements. Studies regarding the use of TA for Rat sarcoma (RAS), rapidly accelerated fibrosarcoma (RAF), ROS proto-oncogene 1 (ROS1) rearrangement, Receptor tyrosine-protein kinase erbB-2 (ERBB2), Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PIK3CA)/v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog; protein kinase B(AKT)/Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10(PTEN), The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and Mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor (MET) were included as well. In general, studies comparing treatment outcomes in EGFR-mutated patients and EML4-ALK (ALK) rearranged patients after use of either TA or standard chemotherapy, present significant better results after TA.</p> <p><b>Conclusions:</b> This systematic review provides an overview of available literature in PubMed regarding NSCLC and TA. Included studies point toward that TA appears to be a promising therapeutic tool in treating NSCLC patients and use of TA is expected to result in improved treatment outcomes.</p>