Expert Highlights Immunotherapy Advances in Lung Cancer Treatment Landscape

David M. Waterhouse, MD, MPH, shares advice with community oncologists treating patients with lung cancer.

David M. Waterhouse, MD, MPH, medical oncologist and hematologist, OHC (Oncology Hematology Care) and The US Oncology Network, shares advice with community oncologists treating patients with lung cancer.

The first thing to do is make sure every patient is tested for actionable biomarkers, says Waterhouse. Frontline immunotherapy is available for patients with PD-L1 greater than 50%. In addition, the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) plus ipilimumab (Yervoy) can be used to treat any patient with a PD-L1 of 1% or higher, according to Waterhouse. This provide a chemotherapy-free treatment option for the frontline setting, which marks an exciting advance that Waterhouse says no one would have predicted just a few years ago.

It is important to wait for testing before treatment in patients with lung cancer, although there will be some patients that require treatment right away, but that is not the majority, Waterhouse says. Physicians must remind their patients of why it is in their best interest to wait.