(BPT) - According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which makes up over 80% of lung cancers, is the single leading cause of cancer deaths in the world. NSCLC is typically diagnosed in patients over the age of 65. And according to the National Cancer Institute, non-small cell lung cancer is not as sensitive to treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy as other forms of cancer.
In some cases, NSCLC can be treated with surgery, or a combination of surgery followed by chemotherapy. Where surgery is not possible, radiation therapy is also a possible treatment, alone or combined with chemotherapy. However, with some forms of NSCLC associated with genetic mutations, treatment is even more challenging.
Many non-small cell lung cancers are associated with mutations in the KRAS gene (also called KRAS-positive). The KRAS gene helps create a protein that relays signals containing important instructions for cells, such as to grow and divide — or to mature and take on specialized functions. KRAS mutations are present in approximately 25% of NSCLC adenocarcinomas (cancer that begins in glandular cells found in tissues lining the lungs and other organs).
One of the types of KRAS mutations is termed G12V, which are present in approximately 7% of non-small cell lung cancers, according to the Cancer Genome Atlas.
Phase 2 clinical trials for an investigational NSCLC treatment
An investigational treatment regimen being studied for KRAS-mutant NSCLC is in a Phase 2 clinical trial called RAMP 202. The purpose of the RAMP 202 study is to see whether an investigational drug called VS-6766 given to NSCLC patients with a KRAS mutation works alone, or better when it is given in combination with a second investigational drug called defactinib.
The trial will study the effectiveness of the treatments, including overall response rate, as well as safety. The study is being conducted by cancer specialists.
"In this study, we hope to advance our understanding of a potential new option for patients with KRAS mutant NSCLC," said D. Ross Camidge, M.D., Ph.D., director of Thoracic Oncology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and University of Colorado Cancer Center member, and the study’s U.S. principal investigator. "Some key advances have come from looking at specific KRAS mutations and by also focusing on G12V mutations, which have limited effective treatment options."
What is a clinical trial?
Clinical trials help doctors find better treatments for cancer and other diseases. Most new ways of finding, preventing and treating cancer were discovered in clinical trials. Because a clinical trial is a research study that people volunteer to take part in, you might want to consider taking part in a clinical trial for a specific reason, or for several reasons, such as:
- Your healthcare team might recommend one as part of your treatment strategy.
- You want to be able to try an investigational treatment that is under study.
- You may want to help others who have cancer.
- You might want to help doctors find ways to prevent cancer or get better at treating cancer.
If you are being treated by an oncologist for NSCLC with a KRAS mutation, ask your doctor about the possibility of enrolling in a clinical trial such as RAMP 202. You can also visit www.ramp202study.com to learn more, and to take an initial online pre-screening to determine if you might be considered eligible to participate in the clinical trial.