Growing Role of Immunotherapy as Treatment for Lung Cancer

March 3, 2018
Marina C. Garassino, MD

Marina C. Garassino, MD, medical consultant in the Medical Oncology Division, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy, discusses current advancements with immunotherapy as first- and second-line treatments for patients with lung cancer.

Marina C. Garassino, MD, medical consultant in the Medical Oncology Division, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy, discusses current advancements with immunotherapy as first- and second-line treatments for patients with lung cancer.

Studies have shown increased survival of 30 months in patients with more than 50% PD-L1 expression in non—small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) when treated with pembrolizumab (Keytruda), as opposed to the historical rate of 17 months. Some other drugs also available for second-line treatment depending on PD-L1 expression include nivolumab (Opdivo) and atezolizumab (Tecentriq).

Several immunotherapy agents are currently being studied in various trials. Garassino points out the importance of the PACIFIC trial of durvalumab (Imfinzi) after chemoradiotherapy in locally advanced NSCLC, which has paved the way for other immunotherapy agents as treatment for patients with lung cancer.