A new study, reported in Oncotarget, found that unlike lung adenocarcinoma patients, there is no FDA-approved targeted-therapy likely to benefit lung squamous cell carcinoma patients.

The authors performed survival analyses of lung squamous cell carcinoma patients harboring therapeutically relevant alterations identified by whole exome sequencing and mass spectrometry-based validation across 430 lung squamous tumors.

They reported a mean of 11.6 mutations/Mb with a characteristic smoking signature along with mutations in TP53, CDKN2A, NFE2L2, FAT1, KMT2C, LRP1B, FGFR1, PTEN and PREX2 among lung squamous cell carcinoma patients of Indian descent.

In overall, the data suggests 13.5% lung squamous patients harboring druggable mutations have lower median overall survival, and 19% patients with a mutation in at least one gene, known to be associated with cancer, result in significantly shorter median overall survival compared to those without mutations.

Non-small cell lung cancer, a more common type of lung cancer, accounts for 85% of all lung cancers comprising two major histological subtypes, adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

The adenocarcinoma of the lung arises mostly in patients with no previous significant tobacco exposure, while the squamous subtype is found almost exclusively in former or current smokers with relatively higher overall mutational load.

In this study, the authors sought to describe the genetic landscape of alterations underlying 430 Indian lung squamous genomes and uncover the prevalence of known targetable somatic alterations using next generation sequencing followed by validation using mass spectrometry.