Farletuzumab for NSCLC: Exploiting a well-known metabolic pathway for a new therapeutic strategy

Eugenio Fiorentino, Antonio Galvano, Antonio Russo, Giuseppe Cicero, Giuseppe Bronte, Viviana Bazan, Christian Rolfo, Christian Diego Rolfo, Francesca Lo Vullo, Gianfranco Pernice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The therapeutic options for NSCLC are limited barring targeted drugs, such as EGFR tyrosine-kinase inhibitors and anaplastic lymphoma kinase inhibitors, for patients bearing oncogenic mutations. Platinum-based chemotherapy remains the best strategy for most patients. New targeted drugs, including mAbs and small molecules, are currently under clinical investigation for treating NSCLC patients.Areas covered: The authors of this article focus on farletuzumab, a mAb targeting folate receptor, which has been studied in ovarian cancer and various other malignancies. In this review, the authors review its potential as therapy for NSCLC, because of the biological rationale provided by the expression of folate receptor α in most of lung adenocarcinoma. The authors provide details of farletuzumab's mechanism of action and discuss the results from completed Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. They also highlight ongoing trials.Expert opinion: There are an increasing number of treatment options for NSCLC and it is hoped that farletuzumab could be added to them. That being said, further evidence for its use with NSCLC patients is still needed. It could have a synergic effect with pemetrexed, because these two drugs have a similar target, namely the folate pathway. This combined action could provide an improved efficacy, although there are some concerns about increased toxicity. However, the authors do note that the combination of farletuzumab with other cytotoxic drugs has not been shown to increase toxicity alone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-132
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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