Lung cancer is the No 1 cause of cancer related death in the United States.

Which is why the whole of this episode is devoted to the latest lung cancer data presented at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) that took place recently in Chicago.

Photo by © ASCO/Todd Buchanan 2015

In the podcast you’ll hear from Dr Jack West (pictured right) a medical oncologist who at the time of recording was at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle (In 2019, Dr West moved to City of Hope in Duarte, California) and Dr Ross Camidge, Director of Thoracic Oncology at the University of Colorado.

Dr West is the President/Founder of GRACE (Global

Resource for Advancing Cancer Education).

He shares his candid perspective on some of the challenges in moving new cancer immunotherapy treatments (checkpoint inhibitors) from clinical trials and into routine practice.

Dr Ross Camidge, Director of Thoracic Oncology at the University of Colorado talks about the latest ALK and EGFR inhibitors in development. Update: Dr Camidge now holds the Joyce Zeff Chair in Lung Cancer Research established in August, 2015.

There’s also excerpts from interviews with Dr Leica Sequist (Massachusetts General Hospital) and Dr Pasi Jänne (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) on the third generation EGFR inhibitors, Rociletinib and AZD9291 (now called osimertinib).

Additional Resources & Links

GRACE – Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education

AZD9291/Rociletinib New England Journal of Medicine Papers mentioned by Dr Camidge:

AZD9291 in EGFR Inhibitor–Resistant Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer. Pasi A. Jänne et alN Engl J Med 2015; 372:1689-1699 April 30, 2015 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1411817 

Rociletinib in EGFR-Mutated Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer. Lecia V. Sequist et alN Engl J Med 2015; 372:1700-1709 April 30, 2015 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1413654

Over the past two years we’ve written extensively about the development of Rociletinib and AZD9291 on Biotech Strategy Blog (subscription required):

AstraZeneca leaps over Clovis with AZD9291 data at World Lung Conference“, published online October 13, 2013.

New England Journal of Medicine paper with results of Nivolumab Checkmate 017 trial: 

Nivolumab versus Docetaxel in Advanced Squamous-Cell Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer. Julie Brahmer et al. May 31, 2015 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1504627

2004 research by William Pao and others on EGFR mutant lung cancer

Activating mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor underlying responsiveness of non-small-cell lung cancer to gefitinib. Lynch, TJ et alN Engl J Med. 2004 May 20;350(21):2129-39

EGFR mutations in lung cancer: correlation with clinical response to gefitinib therapy. Paez, JG et alScience. 2004 Jun 4;304(5676):1497-500

EGF receptor gene mutations are common in lung cancers from “never smokers” and are associated with sensitivity of tumors to gefitinib and erlotinib. Pao, W et al.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Sep 7;101(36): 13306-11

Podcast Music

The music in this podcast episode is by electric violinist and composer David Schulman from his album Quiet Life Motel.



This podcast episode is sponsored by Genentech. We’re grateful for their support.

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