New drug in small cell lung cancer still in early trials

There was encouraging news from Chicago in June about a potential new drug to help treat small cell lung cancer, a cancer where unfortunately there have been no new drug developments in years. Prior research showed that a protein called delta-like protein 3 (DLL3) is very active in small cell tumors and not active in normal tissue. A drug called rovalpituzumab tesirine (Rova-T) has been developed that attaches a chemotherapy agent to an antibody that is attracted to DLL3 protein. The number of patients tested in trials so far is small, but the response rate against small cell lung cancers with DLL3 expression was very encouraging. Larger trials are now underway to determine if this is an effective drug. It is not approved by FDA yet for commercial use.