Emerging drugs for squamous cell lung cancer

Haiying Cheng, Marina Shcherba, Karthikeya Kandavelou, Yuanxin Liang, Huijie Liu, Roman Perez-Soler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Introduction: The management of advanced NSCLC has been shifted by histology-driven treatment and molecularly targeted therapy, especially in lung adenocarcinoma. However, as the second most common histology in NSCLC, the treatment options for squamous cell lung cancer (SQCLC) remain very limited.

Areas covered: The review first discusses the role of histology in management of NSCLC and new cytotoxic agents in SQCLC, and then addresses genomic characterization and potential molecular targets in SQCLC. The article then provides an overview for several major categories of novel molecularly targeted therapies and immune-based strategies with particular attention to ongoing SQCLC trials.

Expert opinion: The key challenges in drug development are to uncover novel actionable targets and to identify predictive biomarkers. Progress in genomic analysis has identified some promising targetable genes and oncogenic pathways in SQCLC with a wave of targeted agents being tested in clinical trials. Immunotherapy has also raised great interest in management of SQCLC, especially agents targeting immune check points, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4, programmed death-1 receptor and its ligands. Better understanding of tumor biology and development of novel targeted therapies will help to facilitate more effective personalized therapy for patients with this devastating illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-160
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Opinion on Emerging Drugs
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Biomarker
  • New treatment
  • Squamous cell lung cancer
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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