About one in four
NSCLC cases involve mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene. With this mutation, the EGFR gene is in overdrive, signaling the overproduction of cancer cells in the body.
There are more than 70 different types of EGFR mutations in NSCLC. Undergoing genetic testing to identify the specific type of EGFR mutation helps your oncologist determine which type of targeted treatment will work best for you.
affect specifically exon 19 and exon 21 — two parts of the EGFR gene.
The most common types of EGFR+ NSCLC
Targeted therapies known as tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) treat various EGFR mutations, including exon 19 and exon 21. TKIs identify and attack cancer cells without causing too much damage to normal cells.
Another set of mutations that affect a different part of the EGFR protein, known as exon 20, is more difficult to treat, as it typically doesn’t respond to most TKIs. However, new targeted therapies, such as monoclonal antibodies, were developed to specifically target the exon 20 mutation.
Although targeted therapies can’t cure EGFR-positive NSCLC, they can prolong life and improve quality of life by slowing the progression and spread of cancer.