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   2019| January-March  | Volume 2 | Issue 1  
    Online since January 24, 2019

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Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) inhibitors in oncology clinical trials
Haelee M Chin, David K Lai, Gerald S Falchook
January-March 2019, 2(1):10-16
The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway consists of the series of protein kinases RAS-RAF-MEK- Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and its function is important to cell proliferation, differentiation, motility, and survival. Certain mutations in the pathway, such as KRAS or BRAF V600 mutations are associated with cancer. Inhibitors of this pathway, including some MEK and BRAF inhibitors, are already being used in the clinic, but a variety of selective ERK inhibitors are still being tested in clinical studies. To date, common adverse events associated with ERK inhibitors include diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, and rash. ERK inhibitors have demonstrated preliminary antitumor activity and may be most effective against cancers with RAS, RAF, or MAPK pathway alterations. This review discusses the MAPK pathway, the biological rationale for ERK inhibitors, and clinical trials involving ERK inhibitors.
  2,365 380 2
The Study of Druggable Targets in Nonsquamous Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer in the Middle East and North Africa
Abdul Rahman Jazieh, Adda Bounedjar, Fouad Al Dayel, Shamayel Fahem, Arafat Tfayli, Kakil Rasul, Hassan Jaafar, Mohammad Jaloudi, Turki Al Fayea, Hatim Q Al Maghrabi, Hanaa Bamefleh, Khaled Al Kattan, Blaha Larbaoui, Taha Filali, Hamed Al Husaini, Yosra Ali, in collaboration with the Arab Collaborative Hematology Oncology Group (ACHOG)
January-March 2019, 2(1):4-7
Background: Druggable molecular targets are very important in the management of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The purpose of our study is to determine the pattern of testing and mutation prevalence in the Middle East and North Africa population. Patients and Methods: Data of consecutive patients with nonsquamous NSCLC were collected from 10 centers in five countries; Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Lebanon, and Algeria. Statistical analysis was performed to delineate the prevalence of druggable targets and other relevant information. Results: Five hundred and sixty-six patients were included in the study. Majority were males (78.1%) with a median age of 61 years (22–89), 50% were current or ex-smokers and 370 patients (65.4%) were Stage IV. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) testing was performed on 164 patients of all stages. EGFR mutation was detected in 30 out of 96 patients (31.3%) with metastatic disease and in 12 out of 68 patients (17.6%) with Stage I to III. Female sex (39.5% vs. 22% males, P = 0.032), Stage IV (31.2% vs. 17.6% in Stage I to III, P = 0.049), and positive immunohistochemical-TTF1 (31.4% vs. 8.7% negative, P = 0.026) were predictors of mutation on univariate analysis. The multivariate analysis showed that patients with stage IV have three times higher positivity than lower stages (odds ratio = 3.495, P = 0.036). Anaplastic lymphoma kinase fusion was present in seven out of 89 patients (7.8%) of all stages, and only three out of 52 patients (5.8%) with metastatic disease. The reasons for not performing the tests in all of the 370 patients with metastatic disease were: physicians do not know where and how to send the test (62.3%), lack of funding to perform the test (11.1%), insufficient tissue (10.1%), and other reasons (16.6%). Conclusions: Only a small fraction of patients with NSCLC are tested for druggable targets and the prevalence of EGFR mutation is prevalence higher than the Western population. Overcoming the challenges of testing requires systematic plans to address education and resource allocation.
  2,086 159 2
Optimizing Precision Oncology and Immunotherapy Strategies: Moving into the Next Stage of Cancer Medicine
Phoebe Lewis, Timothy A Yap
January-March 2019, 2(1):1-3
  1,549 252 -
Opening new boundaries in biomarker detection: Awakening of middle east and North Africa Region
Christian Rolfo, Umberto Malapelle
January-March 2019, 2(1):8-9
  992 117 -
5th Annual immuno-oncology 360° conference: What to expect
Kate Woda
January-March 2019, 2(1):17-18
  913 127 -