Non‐small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for about ninety per cent of lung cancers in the UK. A small proportion of NSCLC tumours have a genetic change in a gene called c‐METexon14. When NSCLC tumours have advanced or spread to other organs there are very limited treatments available.
Crizotinib is an anticancer drug that can be taken up to twice a day orally as capsules. Crizotinib works by blocking the growth and spread of cancer cells that have c‐METexon14 changes to other parts of the body. Crizotinib is already approved for the treatment of a subtype of advanced NSCLC with a different genetic change (ALK mutations) in people that have been previously treated with chemotherapy. If approved for this new indication, crizotinib has the potential to prolong survival for patients with NSCLC and c‐MET gene alteration that have advanced or spread to other organs, for which no other treatment is available apart from best supportive care.
Pembrolizumab is a drug administered by intravenous infusion which stimulates the body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells. If licensed, pembrolizumab in addition to chemotherapy could provide an additional or alternative treatment option to patients who currently have limited treatment options.