Mark Kris on New Therapies for Lung Cancer

Mark Kris, MD, William and Joy Ruane Chair in Thoracic Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the benefits of new therapies for lung cancer. 

Mark Kris, MD, William and Joy Ruane Chair in Thoracic Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the benefits of new therapies for lung cancer.

About a decade ago, most cancers were treated with the same chemotherapy regimens, Kris says. Some patients did not benefit from the treatment, and most patients experienced adverse events such as hair loss, nerve damage, and fatigue.

The oral agent osimertinib (Tagrisso) was granted accelerated approval by the FDA in November 2015 for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Another oral medication, rociletinib (CO-1686), is in the approval process to treat patients with EGFR T790M-positive NSCLC.

These therapies are easier to administer than traditional chemotherapy, and adverse events are generally more manageable, Kris says. Patients can also continue working and accomplishing daily goals while taking these oral medications.