Clinical outcomes with pemetrexed-based systemic therapies in RET-rearranged lung cancers. Academic Article uri icon



  • BACKGROUND: RET rearrangements are targetable, oncogenic lung cancer drivers. While previous series have shown durable clinical benefit with pemetrexed-based therapies in ALK- and ROS1-rearranged lung cancers, the benefits of pemetrexed-based treatments in patients with RET-rearranged lung cancers relative to other genomic subsets have not previously been explored. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective review of patients with pathologically confirmed stage IIIB/IV lung adenocarcinomas and evidence of a RET, ROS1, or ALK rearrangement, or a KRAS mutation was conducted. Patients were eligible if they received treatment with pemetrexed alone or in combination. The primary outcome of progression-free survival (PFS), and secondary outcomes of overall response rate (ORR, RECIST v1.1), time to progression (TTP), and time to treatment discontinuation were compared between RET-rearranged and groups of ROS1-rearranged, ALK-rearranged, and KRAS-mutant lung cancers. RESULTS: We evaluated 104 patients. Patients with RET-rearranged lung cancers (n = 18) had a median PFS of 19 months [95% confidence interval (CI) 12-not reached (NR)] that was comparable with patients with ROS1- (23 months, 95% CI 14-NR, n = 10) and ALK-rearranged (19 months, 95% CI 15-36, n = 36) lung cancers, and significantly improved compared with patients with KRAS-mutant lung cancers (6 months, 95% CI 5-9, P < 0.001, n = 40). ORR (45%), median TTP (20 months, 95% CI 17-NR), and median time to treatment discontinuation (21 months, 95% CI 6-NR) in patients with RET-rearranged lung cancers were not significantly different compared with patients with ALK- and ROS1-rearranged lung cancers, and improved compared with patients with KRAS-mutant lung cancers. CONCLUSION: Durable benefits with pemetrexed-based therapies in RET-rearranged lung cancers are comparable with ALK- and ROS1-rearranged lung cancers. When selecting therapies for patients with RET-rearranged lung cancers, pemetrexed-containing regimens should be considered.

publication date

  • April 7, 2016



  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases


PubMed Central ID

  • PMC4922319

Scopus Document Identifier

  • 84977070973

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/annonc/mdw163

PubMed ID

  • 27056998

Additional Document Info


  • 27


  • 7