The investigational drug selpercatinib may benefit patients with lung cancer whose tumors have alterations in the RET gene, according to preliminary results from a clinical trial. About 2% of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have fusions between the RET gene and other DNA segments. These gene fusions can lead to the production of abnormal RET proteins that spur the growth of cancer cells. Selpercatinib (LOXO-292) is a targeted therapy that works by inhibiting the activity of abnormal RET proteins. The drug is an oral therapy that patients take as a pill. In the trial, more patients responded to the drug—that is, their tumors shrank—than has been seen with older drugs that inhibit RET. Patients treated with selpercatinib also had fewer side effects. “This is a new drug that leads to durable responses” in patients whose lung cancers include RET alterations, said Alexander Drilon, M.D., of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who presented the trial’s findings at the World Conference on Lung Cancer in Barcelona on September 9. The drug also crossed the blood–brain barrier and shrank tumors in the brain and other parts of the central nervous system, Dr. Drilon added, noting that this type of lung cancer frequently spreads to the brain.