RET+ NSCLC: identifying an underserved patient population

For decades, we’ve known RET as an oncogenic driver that promotes uncontrolled cell growth.1 Now, RET is part of a growing list of biomarkers in NSCLC that demand our attention.2-4

RET is a known oncogenic driver in several tumor types.5 RET alterations—in the form of fusions—have been identified in NSCLC, and up to 2% of patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have RET+ cancer.5-7

Not performing a broad molecular profiling test—or initiating treatment prior to receiving results—could lead to a missed opportunity.6,8-11

Test for RET and other biomarkers to potentially impact treatment decisions2

Without comprehensive biomarker testing, patients with metastatic NSCLC who are candidates for targeted therapy could be missed.9,10 Therapies that don’t target active oncogenic drivers can translate into worse outcomes, including lower overall survival rates.9,10

That's why testing is critical. To identify rare driver mutations, such as RET, in eligible patients with metastatic NSCLC who may be candidates for targeted therapy, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) NSCLC Panel recommends molecular testing for actionable biomarkers, including RET, and strongly advises broad molecular profiling.12

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Why comprehensive biomarker testing may be worth the wait5

Selectivity

Outcomes

Safety6,8,9,11

Confirming biomarker status before starting treatment could alter your treatment plan.9

Identifying oncogenic drivers can shape the course of a patient’s treatment plan,5,9,10 but it’s important to acknowledge that there is a waiting period to receive NGS test results—typically about 2 weeks.13,14 With a diagnosis of metastatic NSCLC, patients may feel anxious to receive treatment as soon as possible. However, waiting to receive NGS results to confirm biomarkers whenever possible before initiating treatment can have important and worthwhile benefits.5,9,10 In a clinical trial of patients with ALK+ NSCLC, targeted therapy resulted in a median overall survival rate of nearly 5 years.15

Those few weeks of waiting can mean a difference for your patients: a treatment approach based on targeting specific biomarkers can lead to improved patient outcomes. One study found a median increase in overall survival of about 5 months.9

Patients can see improvements in efficacy, safety, and tolerability when a highly selective targeted therapy is used rather than a less selective therapy like chemotherapy or multikinase inhibitors (MKIs).6,8,11 Patients with RET+ NSCLC and other specific biomarkers may also have poor outcomes with immunotherapy (IO), and are often excluded from IO clinical trials.16,17

Use NGS to confirm whether your patient has a biomarker—like RET—and tailor your treatment plan in your pursuit of precision medicine for every patient with NSCLC.5

What's your testing approach?

Up to 69% of patients with metastatic NSCLC could have a potentially actionable biomarker.2 See how you can capture these biomarkers.

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Blueprint Medicines: dedicated to developing targeted therapies for patients with metastatic NSCLC

Blueprint Medicines is a precision therapy company focused on genomically defined cancers, rare diseases, and cancer immunotherapy. As part of our commitment to developing targeted therapies for patients, Blueprint Medicines is currently researching various biomarkers, including RET, in NSCLC.

References:

NCCN=National Comprehensive Cancer Network®.

NCCN makes no warranties of any kind whatsoever regarding their content, use or application and disclaims any responsibility for their application or use in any way.