Dr. Brahmer Reviews Lung Cancer Advancements in 2017

December 21, 2017
Julie R. Brahmer, MD

Julie R. Brahmer, MD, interim director, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, associate professor of oncology, Johns Hopkins Medicine, reviews developments in 2017 for the treatment of lung cancer.

Julie R. Brahmer, MD, interim director, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, associate professor of oncology, Johns Hopkins Medicine, reviews developments in 2017 for the treatment of lung cancer.

According to Brahmer, 2017 has been an amazing year of changes in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). For example, there has been improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) for patients with stage III disease treated with durvalumab (Imfinzi) after chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Additionally, changes in metastatic disease with chemotherapy combinations are showing an advantage compared to chemotherapy alone.

IMpower data investigating bevacizumab (Avastin) with paclitaxel/carboplatin and atezolizumab (Tecentriq) has demonstrated an improvement in PFS—but choosing the right patients is important, explains Brahmer. Adding bevacizumab to chemotherapy improves overall survival (OS) and response rate, but adding atezolizumab creates even more advantages from an immune standpoint.

In data from KEYNOTE-021 cohort G, pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in combination with pemetrexed and carboplatin increased response rate and PFS. OS data needs to mature.

In 2018, Brahmer is excited to see OS data from first-line phase III trials.