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Recent data from the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting have shown that rovalpituzumab tesirine (Rova-T), AbbVie's antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) to treat recurrent/refractory small cell lung cancer (SCLC), represents a promising new approach, as it is the first biomarker-directed therapy for treating the disease, according to an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.
SCLC is an aggressive form of lung cancer that accounts for approximately 15% of all lung cancers.
As explored in GlobalData's most recent small cell lung cancer report, there is an urgent need for effective therapies in the disease, as the currently available treatment options remain limited.
Dr Volkan Gunduz, GlobalData's Analyst covering Oncology & Hematology, explains: "By attaching a powerful chemotherapy that is too potent to administer on its own to an antibody that detects delta-like protein 3 (DLL3), Rova-T delivers the payload directly to cancer cells. Importantly, DLL3 is not present in healthy tissue but is expressed in more than 80% of SCLC patient tumors, making it a highly specific biomarker for SCLC."
The most promising aspect of data from the Phase I/II trial is the discovery of a biomarker that could predict the efficacy of a targeted therapy for treating SCLC.