Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in NSCLC

Balazs Halmos, MD, section chief of Thoracic Oncology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, discusses the variety of immune checkpoint inhibitors that are currently being explored as treatments for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Balazs Halmos, MD, section chief of Thoracic Oncology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, discusses the variety of immune checkpoint inhibitors that are currently being explored as treatments for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Clinical Pearls:

  • Several therapies are being explored in NSCLC that target immune checkpoints, including PD-1 inhibitors nivolumab and MK-3475, and the PD-L1 inhibitor MPDL3280A
  • Since these agents have been explored primarily in phase I studies, it remains unclear whether targeting PD-1 or PD-L1 is superior
  • At this point, it appears that PD-L1 inhibition could result in fewer side effects, like pneumonitis
  • Future research in this space will focus on selecting patients, minimizing toxicities, and determining which class of agents is most effective