Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the world with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) making up about 85% of all lung cancer cases. With the identification of particular tyrosine kinase mutations, such as EGFR and ALK, targeted therapies shifted the paradigm of drug discovery for NSCLC. However, emergence of drug resistance leaves the biotech and pharma industry still under considerable pressure to develop new therapeutic approaches for this disease.
Today a large number of human non-small cell lung cancer cell lines exist that are being used for both basic research and drug discovery. One commonly used line is A549, an epithelial carcinoma derived from a 58 year old male patient, known to be KRAS mutant and EGFR wild type.