Lung cancer remains a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide.1
There are over 47,000 new cases of lung cancer in the UK every year, and it is the 2nd most common cancer in the UK in both men and women.2
NSCLC accounts for 80–85% of lung cancers.3


Global distribution of cancer deaths for the top 10 most common cancers in both sexes in 20204

Pie chart showing the 10 most common cancers: Lung<br />
1,796,144 (18%), Colorectum 935,173 (9.4%), Liver 830,180 (8.3%), Stomach 768,793 (7.7%), Breast 684,996 (6.9%), Pancreas 466,003 (4.7%), Prostate<br />
375,304 (3.8%), Other cancers 3,557,464, Oesophagus 544,076 (5.5%).

Figure adapted from Sung H, et al. CA Cancer J Clin 2021.4


There are three common types of NSCLC:5


Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of lung cancer, accounts for 40% of all lung cancer. It develops in the small airway epithelial, type II alveolar cells, which secrete mucus and other substances. It tends to grow more slowly than other lung cancers and has a greater chance of being diagnosed before it spreads outside the lungs.5

Squamous-cell carcinoma comprises 25–30% of all lung cancers. It tends to grow near the centre of the lung.2

Large cell carcinoma (undifferentiated) makes up 5–10% of lung cancers. There is no evidence of squamous or glandular maturation and as a result it is often diagnosed by excluding other possibilities.5


Molecular Mutations in NSCLC

Several mutations have been identified in NSCLC that are suitable for treatment with targeted kinase inhibitors (TKIs).6

Besides EGFR, ALK and ROS1, BRAF now represents a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of advanced NSCLC.6

Approximately 1–3% of patients with NSCLC have a BRAF mutation.

V600E is the most common BRAF mutation found in patients with NSCLC. 


Pie chart showing the 'Types of NSCLC Gene Mutations' KRAS, EGFR, ALK, PIK3CA, HER2, ROS, RET, MAP2K1, MET, AKT1.


Source: Kantar Health Cancer Impact; Multiple secondary sources for Biomarker splits

WT, wild type




  1. Barta JA, et al. Ann Glob Health 2019;85:8.
  2. Cancer Research UK. Lung cancer statistics available at:
  3. Cancer Research UK. Types of lung cancer. Available at: [Accessed June 2021].
  4. Sung H, et al. GLOBOCAN 2020. CA Cancer J Clin 2021;71:209–249.
  5. Zappa C and Mousa SA. Translational Lung Cancer Research 2016;5:288-300.
  6. Leonetti A, et al. Cancer Treat Rev 2018;66:82–94.
  7. Kantar Health Cancer Impact; Multiple secondary sources for Biomarker splits.
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UK | August 2021 | 118710

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