Stephen Liu, MD, on How Targeted Therapy Results in Significant Efficacy for RET-Altered Tumors

At the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting, Stephen Liu, MD, discussed the important of findings from the ARROW trial of pralsetinib in patients with RET-altered non–small cell lung cancer.

CancerNetwork® sat down with Stephen Liu, MD, of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, DC, at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting to discuss what multidisciplinary providers can learn from outcomes of the phase 2 ARROW trial (NCT03037385) of pralsetinib in patients with RET fusion­–positive non–small cell lung cancer. He emphasized how delivering targeted treatment to the proper patient population yields highly promising outcomes.


I think that the key takeaway from this study is that we can see extremely effective, overwhelmingly positive results when we deliver treatment to the right patients. If we give this drug to an all-comer population, response will be quite low. Whereas if we can rationally select and identify these patients a priori and deliver treatment that makes sense, we can see these outcomes where almost everyone has a response [and] where responses are very durable. Toxicity is pretty minimal. It really is a matter of delivering this treatment where it’s needed. And that rational drug development has been the paradigm for the past few years in lung cancer. I think it extends to the resistance setting as well where—past initial diagnosis, if we can apply that same paradigm post–initial progression—we can deliver drugs that can overcome acquired resistance in the future as well.


Gainor JF, Curigliano G, Kim DW, et al. Pralsetinib for RET fusion-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (ARROW): a multi-cohort, open-label, phase 1/2 study. Lancet Oncol. Published June 9, 2021. doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00247-3