Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Hypoxia as Therapeutic Target in Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

By: Sara Tewksbury
Posted: Friday, May 4, 2018

Although hypoxia has been targeted by multiple clinical trials, researchers agree there are no simple answers and more development is needed on these possible therapies for non–small cell lung cancer (NSCL). Ahmed Salem, MBBCH, of the University of Manchester, UK, led the review of 86 randomized trials trying to find where the research gaps are and what the past therapy trials have entailed. The results were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The researchers analyzed the trials to study past and present antihypoxia therapies and see where more research may be needed. They found an overall survival benefit of combining antihypoxia therapeutic agents and radiotherapy across different cancer types, but there was no significant benefit to patients with lung cancer. The therapies for targeting hypoxia are still theoretical, and there has been no clinical benefit of these treatments observed in phase III trials.

Since hypoxia reduces response to treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy and increases the likelihood of metastases, many researchers see it as an important target. Dr. Salem and colleagues suggest close collaboration is necessary among basic researchers, clinical researchers, and the pharmaceutical industry to create a successful treatment.

“There is an unmet need to develop more effective and less toxic hypoxia-targeted therapies. In the meantime, promising therapies should be investigated in selected NSCLC patients in combination with radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and biological therapies,” the investigators concluded.  

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