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.
Brigatinib is a new treatment option being developed specifically for ALK-positive NSCLC. It acts by blocking the activity of some specific proteins encoded by the ALK gene, thereby reducing the growth of cancer cells. Brigatinib is taken orally once daily as a tablet and potentially has a broader range of resistance when compared other treatment options in its class. Brigatinib would be offered to patients with locally advanced or metastatic ALK-positive NSCLC, who have not received prior treatment. If licensed, brigatinib will offer an additional treatment option for this patient group.