Immunotherapy Advances Lung Cancer Treatment Landscape

November 2, 2020
Benjamin Levy, MD

Benjamin Levy, MD, discusses how the role of immunotherapy has evolved in the treatment landscape of lung cancer and where he sees this research headed in the future.

6206507505001Benjamin Levy, MD, clinical director of Medical Oncology at Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Sibley Memorial Hospital, discusses how the role of immunotherapy has evolved in the treatment landscape of lung cancer and where he sees this research headed in the future.

There are now 9 approvals for different immunotherapy agents for the treatment of patients with advanced lung cancer without a mutation, Levy says. It’s important to know that there are even patients experience long-term survival benefits with immunotherapy, much like targeted agents that have become available and are showing promise in this space.

Levy reflects on previous phase 1 data, in which the 5-year overall survival rate with nivolumab was 16%. The patients here received an average line of 3 prior therapies, and this demonstrates some of the early efficacy observed for this therapeutic approach.

The question is how to move this into earlier stages of disease. Immunotherapy is also appearing promising in the neoadjuvant setting, where patients receive the treatment prior to surgery, Levy says.