GRACE :: Lung Cancer

Search cancerGRACE.org

GCVL

GRACE Video

Lung Cancer Screening – Process and Potential Benefits

Share
GRACE Cancer Video Library - Lung

GCVL_LU-A05_Lung_Cancer_Screening_Process_Potential_Benefits

 

Dr. Jed Gorden, Swedish Cancer Institute, reviews the lung cancer screening process, including low-dose CT scanning, smoking cessation, follow-up testing and counseling, and describes the potential benefits.

Download Transcript

How Did You Like This Video?

Please feel free to offer comments and raise questions in our Discussion Forums.

 

Transcript

Lung cancer screening is a very exciting advance in the field of lung cancer which has come about in the last several years. This is where low-dose CT scans, or “CAT” scans, very high resolution images of the lungs, are used to identify nodules and identify early cancers. The critical thing to know is that this is an advancement that has come about in the last several years due to a tremendous amount of government-funded research looking at the safety and the efficacy of using low-dose CT scans to identify high-risk patients who have lung cancer.

Let’s talk about that for a second: high-risk patients. Patients that qualify for lung cancer screening need to understand certain things, and you’re going to have to participate in a shared decision-making conversation with your team and caregivers. So who qualifies, who is high-risk? The high-risk criteria for lung cancer screening and people who should undergo low-dose CT imaging are patients who are 55 to 80 years old, who smoked for at least 30 pack-years which is one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years, and are actively smoking or quit within the last 15 years. This is the minimum population who is at risk for lung cancer and meets the criteria to undergo low-dose CT screening.

It’s really important to understand that embarking on lung cancer screening and low-dose CT is a journey and a partnership with your team of professionals in the lung cancer screening center. The reason that I say this is because, number one: no single scan will prove that any individual doesn’t have lung cancer. It is through a partnership and continued surveillance based on specific criteria, and discussions with your team over time that will help minimize any risk of lung cancer.

Why would anyone want to embark on this journey? The data that we have and the reason we’re so excited about lung cancer screening now is that the data suggests that through low-dose CT screening of high-risk individuals that the mortality associated with lung cancer is decreased by 20% and the overall all-cause mortality is decreased by almost 7%. But it’s important to understand that this is done in the confines of a multidisciplinary team with counseling and active participation of patients who continue throughout the program and follow the guidelines that are established through screening.

So let’s talk about each one of these components. We’ve talked about the high-risk, which is the patient that’s involved — let’s talk a little bit more about high-risk. So we know that even within this risk profile are those that are at minimal risk for lung cancer, there are those that are at increased risk. We have an identified population of high-risk patients for lung cancer that we described: 55 to 80 years old, actively smoking or quit within the last 15 years, and smoked for at least 30 pack-years. We know that’s the minimum risk and it’s important for people to understand that at the minimum risk level for lung cancer, it takes almost 5,300 people screened to identify one single cancer. As the risk goes up, age goes up, increasing pack years of smoking goes up, we know that the number of people to screen goes down to about 160 to 170 people in the highest risk groups. Therefore it’s important that we adhere to these rigorous guidelines of only those patients who are at the highest risk, who meet the criteria that was described, to undergo lung cancer screening.

Number two: partnership. No single scan allows people to move forward without being continued in the program. It is a continuum that people need to engage in and a partnership with your professional team.

Number three: smoking cessation. Smoking cessation for those that are still smoking is critical to minimizing the risk for lung cancer. This is a teachable moment. This is an opportunity to partner with your team to identify the ability to quit, potential medications for helping you quit, triggers and counseling. I urge people to take advantage of this and to inquire with their team on how best to approach this process as you engage and move forward in the lung cancer screening arena.

The final thing is counseling. It is important to understand that many people who embark on the journey of lung cancer screening, both those that are in the highest risk group and those that are in the minimum risk group to qualify for lung cancer screening will oftentimes be found with an abnormality or what’s called a pulmonary nodule. A pulmonary nodule is a small abnormality seen on a CT scan. It can be described as a dot or a nodule or an abnormality, all descriptors of the same thing, but the critical thing to understand is that the overwhelming majority of the time, these are not cancer. They are benign, but we only know that through continued surveillance and strict adherence to guidelines on when to follow patients up, when to move to additional testing, and when to move on to invasive testing.

The confidence that you build with your professional team will allow you to move forward through this process with education and without fear, and allow you to move forward and minimize the risk of lung cancer in those patients who are high-risk.


GRACE Video

Bronchoscopy and EBUS

Share
GRACE Cancer Video Library - Lung

GCVL_LU-B05_Bronchoscopy_EBUS

 

Dr. Jed Gorden, Swedish Cancer Institute, describes the differences between bronchoscopy and endobronchial ultrasound, highlighting the advantages of EBUS in diagnosis and staging.

Download Transcript

How Did You Like This Video?

Please feel free to offer comments and raise questions in our Discussion Forums.

 

Transcript

Today I’m going to talk to you about bronchoscopy with endobronchial ultrasound. It’s an interesting technology — bronchoscopy in its form that we know it now, flexible bronchoscopy, has been around since about the late 1960s. This allowed us to move bronchoscopy from an operating room into outpatient settings and allow us to navigate through the airways. For those of you that have heard of colonoscopies or upper endoscopies, these are all cameras that allow us to snake through the airway or other orifices and get a much clearer picture of what’s going on inside. The challenge though with traditional bronchoscopy is it allows you to only see what’s directly in front of you — what is in the airway, and the overwhelming majority of the time the airways are normal.

A tremendous advantage to us in the field of lung cancer, lung cancer diagnosis, and lung cancer staging has been bronchoscopy coupled with ultrasound, creating what’s called endobronchial ultrasound or EBUS. This is a very small ultrasound probe coupled at the end of a bronchoscope. It enters into the airway in the exact same fashion that bronchoscopy does for traditional procedures, but what it allows us to do is look through the airway wall. This is critical because looking through the airway wall now allows us to identify lymph nodes, abnormalities that are around the trachea, the bronchi which are the divisions of the airway that go to the left lung and the right lung, and this is critically important because we know that with staging where we’re not only diagnosing those that have cancer, but where the cancer is and whether it has spread to the lymph nodes is crucial to an understanding and developing a treatment plan.

Some we now have a tool in our armamentarium to, in a very minimally invasive way, go into the airways, see what’s in the airways, and see through the airways into the lymph nodes that live in and around those airways. Once we’ve identified these very specific structures, we can sample them with small needles allowing us to puncture through the airway wall directly into a lymph node, collect a sample, have a pathologist look at it under a microscope, and tell us whether that lymph node is involved in cancer or that lymph node is not involved with cancer. Critical are the decisions that will be made for creating a treatment algorithm.

The advantage of this is that it’s minimally invasive; it’s done in the outpatient setting. It allows us to sample most of the lymph nodes that are present and are critical to decision making around lung cancer and lung cancer staging. Complications of it are very rare — sometimes after bronchoscopy and bronchoscopy with ultrasound, people can experience a fever, or maybe a sore throat, but larger complications like bleeding and infection are very rare.

The most important thing though to understand is that this is a partnership with your physician and that they explain to you what procedure you’re going to have, and how this procedure is going to benefit you, whether it’s bronchoscopy or bronchoscopy with ultrasound.

The final thing that I’m going to talk about with bronchoscopy and bronchoscopy with ultrasound is how you’ll be during the procedure. Most patients ask, “am I going to be awake; am I going to know what’s going on?” There are two ways to do bronchoscopy and bronchoscopy with ultrasound. One is what’s called conscious sedation — this is sort of a twilight phase where people are sleeping, they’re breathing on their own, responsible for their own vital signs, but a bronchoscopist is allowed to do procedures without it causing too much disturbance to the patient. This is good for procedures that last about 25 to 30 minutes and allows people to sample in the airways in a very safe fashion. Another way that bronchoscopy with ultrasound is performed is with anesthesia — this is where an anesthesiologist takes over the safety of the patient and the control of their airway. A breathing tube or a small cap over the back on the airway is placed allowing air to pass in and out and control the breathing and ensure safety during the procedure.

So when you talk with your physician about this, it’s important to understand how you will feel during the procedure, what is going to be going on in terms of your safety, sedation, and your comfort. It’s also important to know that there’s data for this; the data for this suggests that the procedures are equal. Bronchoscopy and bronchoscopy with ultrasound can be done safely in the setting of conscious sedation and in the setting of general anesthesia, and you should feel confident that you can have a safe and effective procedure.

So in summary the most important thing is that you partner with your physician in order to get the most information possible from any procedure. In this case the procedure will be bronchoscopy. Bronchoscopy is an inspection of the airway. We couple that with ultrasound which is not only inspection of the airway, but visualization through the airway wall, identifying the lymph nodes and structures. Biopsying those gets tissue which is staging and telling us how much cancer there is, and this can be done safely and effectively with you sleeping in either a conscious or twilight phase, or with general anesthesia.


GRACE Video

Rociletinib/Osimertinib for EGFR T790M-negative NSCLC

Share
GRACE Cancer Video Library - Lung

GCVL_LU-F13_Rociletinib_Osimertinib_EGFR_T790M-Negative_NSCLC

 

Dr. Jack West, Swedish Cancer Institute, reviews trial evidence for the efficacy of rociletinib and osimertinib for EGFR acquired resistance not driven by a T790M mutation.

Download Transcript

How Did You Like This Video?

Please feel free to offer comments and raise questions in our Discussion Forums.

 

Transcript

For patients who have an activating mutation in their cancer known as EGFR we have several very good first line treatment options to consider. There are three leading contenders as oral targeted therapies that block EGFR and tend to work very well for patients with an EGFR mutation. These agents are known as Iressa (gefitinib), Tarceva (erlotinib), and Gilotrif (afatinib). These agents have a chance of shrinking the tumor in the range of 60% to 75% which is great, but unfortunately these responses do not last forever and on average, patients will develop progression of their cancer, so-called acquired resistance to this first line therapy, after something in the range of nine to 12 months — can be less, can be more.

The question is what to do when that occurs. Well, there are a couple of agents that have shown great promise and great activity, at least in the subset of patients who have a mutation, found at the time of this acquired resistance, that is known as T790M. And so we repeat a biopsy of an area of progressing cancer while patients are on and progressing on this first line EGFR inhibitor, and 50% or 60% will have this acquired resistance mutation known as T790M. For those patients, we standardly consider drugs like osimertinib and rociletinib, and I say standardly consider as if they’re commercially available, and they’re not yet, at this moment in late 2015, FDA approved but it is expected that both will be approved by the FDA based on their very good activity in the very near future, perhaps by the time you see this.

But these agents are best studied and have their greatest activity in the patients with a T790M mutation. So what about the patients who are still 40% or 50% of that population with progressing cancer on an EGFR inhibitor who don’t have a T790M mutation? It turns out that both of these agents have good activity, or at least some degree of activity, in patients who are T790M-negative. It doesn’t tend to be as long-lasting and the response rates tend to be lower, but the activity is certainly encouraging.

GCVL_LU-XXNN_Jack_West_Swedish_15_01

When you look at what’s called a waterfall plot that’s shown here of how patients respond, the bars going downward represent patients whose cancers have shrunk, and the ones that go upward are the ones whose cancers have progressed on a therapy. You can see that when we look at patients who received osimertinib, the AstraZeneca drug AZD9291, there is good activity in the majority of patients who receive this agent, even if they have no T790M mutation.

GCVL_LU-XXNN_Jack_West_Swedish_15_02

The same is true for rociletinib, the Clovis drug CO1686 — the waterfall plot shows that most of the bars do go down, and that a lot of patients receive a substantial benefit, even if they do not have T790M detected in their rebiopsied tumor.

So there are studies that are looking specifically at these agents in patients who are T790M-negative. A trial with rociletinib known as TIGER-3 is looking at patients who have received prior EGFR inhibitors like Iressa, Tarceva or Gilotrif, and have also received prior chemotherapy. These patients are then randomized to either receive rociletinib or a standard chemotherapy as a single agent, and there are several that your doctor can choose from. This trial will be looking at which patients do better depending on whether they get the targeted therapy or standard chemotherapy.

There is another trial being done with osimertinib in combination with an EGFR monoclonal antibody known as necitumumab, so a two drug combination being looked at in patients who are T790M-negative after progressing on a first line EGFR inhibitor. So both of these agents are being studied not just in patients with a T790M-positive cancer, but a T790M-negative cancer, and if you do have acquired resistance and are found to not have a T790M mutation, you might want to look into information about these trials to see if one might be a good choice for you.


GRACE Video

Are There Clinically Significant Distinctions Between PD-1 and PD-L1?

Share
GRACE Cancer Video Library - Lung

GCVL_LU-FE02_Clinically_Significant_Differences_PD-1_PD-L1

 

Dr. Jack West, Swedish Cancer Institute, compares the mechanism of action, efficacy and toxicity of PD-1 and PD-L1 inhibitors.

Download Transcript

How Did You Like This Video?

Please feel free to offer comments and raise questions in our Discussion Forums.

 

Transcript

Among the most exciting developments in lung cancer over the last few years has been the introduction of immune checkpoint inhibitors — agents that are given by vein that help to stimulate the immune system, really by turning off one of the braking mechanisms. There are two main treatment approaches that are used, they’re called PD-L1 inhibitors and PD-1 inhibitors. These PD-1 and PD-L1 are receptors that attach to each other, and when they work together they lead to a braking mechanism for the immune system. These antibodies can block either the PD-1 or the PD-L1 side of that and turn off that braking mechanism, much like taking off the emergency brake on a car and leading it to roll ahead.

PD-1 is on the T cells of the immune system, PD-L1 is on the tumor cells, so there are different agents and they block different sides of this interaction. The question is: does it matter which one you get or are they all pretty much the same? There are two agents as of now that are FDA approved in advanced lung cancer and those are Opdivo, known as nivolumab, and Keytruda, known as pembrolizumab, although there are other agents that are likely to become FDA approved in the future.

These two agents, Opdivo and pembrolizumab, are both PD-1 inhibitors. Others such as atezolizumab and others are known as PD-L1 inhibitors. Does it matter which one you get — do the results differ? Well we don’t absolutely know because we have not yet seen the results or even done a trial that directly compares how patients do when they get one over another, but the results are remarkably similar regardless of which agent is tested in the same setting. Specifically they all seem to produce response rates of about 15% to 20% in the broad population, and if we look at patients who have significant PD-L1 expression, the protein that is associated with the more inhibitory effect, we see better results with any of these.

It remains to be seen whether you can treat a patient with a PD-1 inhibitor like Keytruda, like Opdivo, and then get a good result once they show progression because you’ve given them a PD-L1 inhibitor, but for all intents and purposes, the results in terms of efficacy and also side effect profiles are remarkably similar and most specialists feel they are really essentially interchangeable until we see evidence showing otherwise.


GRACE Video

Histology-Specific Recommendations – Large-Cell Neuroendocrine

Share
GRACE Cancer Video Library - Lung

GCVL_LU-F07_Histology_Specific_Recommendations_Large-Cell_Neuroendocrine

 

Dr. Jack West, Swedish Cancer Institute, identifies the best choice for first-line chemotherapy for large-cell neuroendocrine histology.

Download Transcript

How Did You Like This Video?

Please feel free to offer comments and raise questions in our Discussion Forums.

 

Transcript

One of the less common subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer is known as large cell neuroendocrine, and it is in the same family as small cell lung cancer — these are all known as neuroendocrine cancers. They originate from cells that are in the middle of the body, in the middle of the chest, that have evolved to have hormone-secreting abilities. Because of that, large cell neuroendocrine and small cell lung cancer really share enough features that they are treated in a very similar way.

The standard approach for most patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer for metastatic lung cancer, if you do not have a driver mutation like EGFR or ALK, is a two drug combination, a so-called platinum-based doublet with cisplatin or carboplatin in combination with a partner drug. For many subtypes of lung cancer, what that partner is doesn’t matter too much — the various combinations all produce very similar results. However we tend to make a very specific recommendation for patients with a large cell neuroendocrine cancer and in fact we treat it very much like we would a small cell lung cancer.

For decades we’ve known that cisplatin or carboplatin in combination with a drug known as etoposide is a very effective treatment approach for small cell lung cancer and because large cell neuroendocrine is in the same family and has so many similar features, the most common recommended approach in terms of the chemotherapy that we would favor is cisplatin or carboplatin in combination with etoposide. Other options are certainly reasonable, but they are not as commonly recommended.

Unfortunately we don’t have a lot of actual research yet on the best approaches for patients with advanced large cell neuroendocrine cancers, but we’re starting to look into that for the first time in a very meaningful way. Until we have those results, we really do tend to favor a platinum and etoposide approach.


Ask Us, Q&A
Lung/Thoracic Cancer Expert Content

Archives

Share

GRACE Cancer Video Library - Lung Cancer Videos

 

2015_Immunotherapy_Forum_Videos

 

2015 Acquired Resistance in Lung Cancer Patient Forum Videos

Share

Join the GRACE Faculty

Breast Cancer Blog
Pancreatic Cancer Blog
Kidney Cancer Blog
Bladder Cancer Blog
Head/Neck Cancer Blog
Share

Subscribe to the GRACEcast Podcast on iTunes

Share

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon

Subscribe to
GRACE Notes
   (Free Newsletter)

Other Resources

Share

ClinicalTrials.gov


Biomedical Learning Institute

peerview_institute_logo_243