A novel compound has become the first targeted therapy to benefit patients with the most common genetic subtype of lung cancer, an international clinical trial led by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other institutions will report at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago. The study involved 87 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients whose tumors carry a mutation in the gene KRAS. Such tumors account for about 20 percent of NSCLC cases, but no targeted therapy has proved effective against them in previous clinical research. The drug under investigation, selumetinib, doesn’t attack KRAS directly, but interferes with one of its molecular henchmen, a protein called MEK. By many measures the group receiving selumetinib did significantly better than the control group.