AACR23 & Beyond: Addressing the Toughest Challenges in Lung Cancer | Amgen

AACR23 & Beyond: Addressing the Toughest Challenges in Lung Cancer

How Amgen is advancing KRASG12C inhibition for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and developing an investigational targeted cancer immunotherapy option for small cell lung cancer (SCLC).

Lung cancer remains one of the deadliest cancers, accounting for nearly one in five cancer-related deaths in the U.S.1 Worldwide, it kills more people than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined.2

New drugs have given hope to patients, but more research needs to be done. Amgen is harnessing its first-in-class science to tackle new frontiers in thoracic cancer, including small cell lung cancer (SCLC), one of the most difficult-to-treat types of the disease.

Amgen's Presence at AACR 2023

Amgen will join some of the most influential cancer researchers in Orlando, Fla., for the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2023 (AACR23), the first large cancer conference of the year that highlights work by institutions all over the world. The theme of this year's meeting – "Advancing the Frontiers of Cancer Science and Medicine" – is reflected in data Amgen plans to present, research exploring mechanisms of acquired resistance in KRAS G12C-mutated cancers.

Advances in precision medicine have fueled the development of targeted therapies tailored to the unique biology of a patient's cancer, as not all patients respond to cancer treatment in the same way. These variations may be attributable to one or more genomic mutations in a patient's cancer cells that drive drug resistance or cause disease recurrence. This research will inform future exploration into combination treatment strategies that could help to overcome drug resistance and improve duration of response to treatment.

Beyond AACR23: Immunotherapy that targets DLL3 in SCLC

In SCLC, Amgen is building on a deep legacy in a class of immunotherapies known as T-cell engagers to advance a first-in-class half-life extended (HLE) bispecific T-cell engager (BiTE®) molecule, tarlatamab, that targets the delta-like ligand 3 protein, also known as DLL3.

SCLC is an aggressive, fast-growing cancer that accounts for 10-15% of lung cancer cases.3 Roughly 90% of patients present with advanced disease when diagnosed, making treatment difficult.4,5  

BiTE molecules are designed to simultaneously bind to T cells from the patient's immune system and cancer cells that express a specific protein and then redirect those same T cells to attack the cancer. In addition, about 85% of patients with SCLC have cancer cell surface expression of DLL3, but the protein is rarely expressed on the surface of healthy, normal cells, which makes it an encouraging target for precision medicine.6,7,8

Early clinical data has been encouraging.9 Amgen is investigating tarlatamab in multiple clinical trials, including DeLLphi-301, a potentially registrational Phase 2 study in patients with heavily pretreated SCLC.

To learn more about Amgen's work with precision medicine and immunotherapy in lung cancer, visit AmgenOncology.com, and be sure to follow Amgen Oncology on Twitter and LinkedIn for real-time updates throughout AACR23.


  1. The American Cancer Society: Key Statistics for Lung Cancer 2023. Available at https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/about/key-statistics.html. Accessed on March 27, 2023.
  2. Sung H, et al. CA Cancer J Clin. 2021;71:209-249.
  3. Ruano-Raviña A, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5:e224837.
  4. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2023. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2023/2023-cancer-facts-and-figures.pdf. Accessed on February 28, 2023.
  5. Rojo F, et al. Lung Cancer. 2020;147:237-243.
  6. Saunders LR, et al. Sci Transl Med. 2015;7:302ra136.
  7. Leonetti A, et al. Cell Oncol. 2019;42:261-273.
  8. Borghaei H, et al. Presented at: 2022 World Conference on Lung Cancer; August 6–9, 2022; Vienna, Austria. Abstract OA12.05.

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