This week in therapeutics




Licensing status

Publication and contact information


Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

Ret proto-oncogene (RET); KIF5B-RET oncogenic fusion protein

Preliminary results from an investigator-initiated Phase II trial suggest small molecule RET inhibitors could help treat RET fusion-positive lung cancers. Last year, KIF5B-RET fusions were identified in 1%-2% of patients with NSCLC. In three RET fusion-positive patients treated with Cometriq cabozantinib, two had a confirmed partial response and the third had stable disease. Next steps include expanding the clinical trial and continuing patient follow-up.
Exelixis Inc. markets Cometriq, a small molecule c-Met receptor tyrosine kinase and VEGF inhibitor that also inhibits RET, to treat medullary thyroid cancer.
Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Iclusig ponatinib, a pan-BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitor that also inhibits RET, is in a separate investigator-led Phase II trial to treat RET fusion-positive NSCLC (see RET, set, go, page 1).

SciBX 6(14); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.335
Published online April 11, 2013

Patent and licensing status not applicable

Drilon, A. et al. Cancer Discov.; published online March 26, 2013;
Contact: Naiyer A. Rizvi, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, N.Y.