Clinical potential of necitumumab in non-small cell lung carcinoma
Carlo Genova,1–3 Fred R Hirsch1
1Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO, USA; 2Lung Cancer Unit, IRCCS AOU San Martino IST, 3Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
Abstract: Despite significant progress, new therapeutic approaches for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are highly needed, particularly for the treatment of patients with squamous cell carcinoma. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is often overexpressed in NSCLC and represents a relevant target for specific treatments. Although EGFR mutations are more frequent in non-squamous histology, the receptor itself is more often overexpressed in squamous NSCLC. Necitumumab is a human monoclonal antibody that is able to inhibit the EGFR pathway and cause antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity. This drug has been studied in combination with first-line chemotherapy for advanced NSCLC in two Phase III trials, and a significant survival benefit was reported in squamous NSCLC (SQUIRE trial); by contrast, necitumumab did not prove itself beneficial in non-squamous histotype (INSPIRE trial). On the basis of the SQUIRE results, necitumumab was approved in combination with cisplatin and gemcitabine as a first-line treatment for advanced squamous NSCLC, both in the US and Europe, where its availability is limited to patients with EGFR-expressing tumors. The aim of this review is to describe the tolerability and the efficacy of necitumumab by searching the available published data and define its potential role in the current landscape of NSCLC treatment.
Keywords: necitumumab, EGFR, non-small cell lung cancer, monoclonal antibody, H-score
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