Amidst all of the glowing reports about immunotherapy for lung and many other cancers, it would be understandable for patients and physicians to be tempted to rush toward prioritizing immunotherapy as the first treatment strategy to pursue. In fact ...
Among the many novel concepts in managing immunotherapy is the potential for “pseudo-progression”. This unusual phenomenon is when a patient’s scans of the areas of cancer actually appear worse on early imaging, potentially even with new lesions, after starting immunotherapy, but a patient’s scans later show shrinkage of the cancer. These patients typically feel well, often with improvement in their cancer-related symptoms (fatigue, appetite, etc.) that don’t seem to be concordant with their worse-appearing scans.
OAK trial with Tecentriq (atezolizumab) is positive: How a "me too" result may change the landscape in advanced NSCLC
With positive trials of two immune checkpoint inhibitors, Opdivo (nivolumab) and Keytruda (pembrolizumab), in second line NSCLC and compared with Taxotere (docetaxel), it should come as a surprise to nobody that another checkpoint inhibitor, Tecentriq (atezolizumab) has also proven superior to Taxotere in the OAK trial of previously treated NSCLC patients, as reported in a press release today.
Dr. Jack West, Swedish Cancer Institute, discusses current trials seeking to determine the efficacy of combining immunotherapy agents in lung cancer.
Dr. Jack West, Swedish Cancer Institute, raises the question of whether to use immune checkpoint inhibitors as first-line treatment of lung cancer, alone or in combination with chemotherapy.
Dr. Eddie Garon considers the data on immunotherapies for first line treatment of advanced NSCLC and whether we are likely to use these agents instead of or in combination with standard chemotherapy soon.
UCLA Med Center's Dr. Eddie Garon discusses the open question of the optimal duration of ongoing treatment with immunotherapy for lung cancer.
Dr. Greg Riely from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center reviews the limited data that help clarify the probability of benefit from new immunotherapy agents among patients with advanced NSCLC and an identified driver mutation.
Dr. Eddie Garon reviews the pattern of response to immunotherapy in lung cancer, along with the concept of "pseudoprogression".
As we learn more about immunotherapy for lung cancer, combinations with multiple immunotherapy agents are being explored. Medical oncologist Dr. Eddie Garon considers whether combinations are likely to emerge as the leading immunotherapy approach.