Stephen Liu, MD, on Key Takeaways From the ARROW Trial of Pralsetinib for RET+ NSCLC

At ASCO 2021, CancerNetwork® spoke with Stephen Liu, MD, about his research on the ARROW trial and how these results might impact the treatment of patients with RET fusion–positive non–small cell lung cancer who are potential candidates for treatment with pralsetinib.

CancerNetwork® sat down with Stephen Liu, MD, of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting to talk about how results of the ARROW trial (NCT02412878), which looked at pralsetinib (Gavreto) as therapy for patients with RET fusion–positive non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the frontline, influence the need to select patients for targeted therapy. He emphasized that delivering treatment effectively involves uncovering oncogenic drivers of the disease, such as genetic mutations.


I think that the key takeaway from this study is that we can see extremely effective [drugs with] 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 [where] it makes sense, we can see these outcomes where almost everyone has a response [and] where responses are very durable and toxicity is minimal. It really is a matter of delivering this treatment where it’s needed. That rational drug development has been the paradigm for the past few years in lung cancer. 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.


Curigliano G, Gainor JF, Greisinger F, et al. Safety and efficacy of pralsetinib in patients with advanced RET fusion-positive non-small cell lung cancer: Update from the ARROW trial. J Clin Oncol. 2021;39(suppl 15):9089. doi:10.1200/JCO.2021.39.15_suppl.9089