NPJ Precis Oncol. 2023 Jan 11;7(1):5. doi: 10.1038/s41698-022-00338-9.
Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are one of fastest growing classes of oncology drugs in modern drug development. By harnessing the powers of both cytotoxic chemotherapy and targeted therapy, ADCs are unique in offering the potential to deliver highly potent cytotoxic agents to cancer cells which express a pre-defined cell surface target. In lung cancer, the treatment paradigm has shifted dramatically in recent years, and now ADCs are now joining the list as potential options for lung cancer patients. Since 2020, the first ADC for NSCLC patients has been FDA-approved (trastuzumab deruxtecan) and two ADCs have been granted FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation, currently under evaluation (patritumab deruxtecan, telisotuzumab vedotin). Furthermore, several early-phase trials are assessing various novel ADCs, either as monotherapy or in combinations with advanced lung cancer, and more selective and potent ADCs are expected to become therapeutic options in clinic soon. In this review, we discuss the structure and mechanism of action of ADCs, including insights from pre-clinical work; we summarize the ADCs’ recent progress in lung cancer, describe toxicity profiles of ADCs, and explore strategies designed to enhance ADC potency and overcome resistance. In addition, we discuss novel ADC strategies of interest in lung cancer, including non-cytotoxic payloads, such as immunomodulatory and anti-apoptotic agents.