A new era of lung cancer therapy is close to dawning, using drugs that can prevent tumor cells from evading the immune system, experts said at the Fourth European Lung Cancer Congress in Geneva, according to an April article in Oncology Nurse Advisor.
For decades, scientists and doctors thought immunotherapy, which uses treatments that harness the immune system to fight a disease, was of marginal benefit in lung cancer, Jean-Charles Soria, MD, PhD, Institute Gustave Roussy in Paris, said in the
However, Soria explained that a new class of drugs, known as immunocheckpoint regulators, has shown huge potential. New data on several of these drugs were presented at the conference.
Two of the most interesting immunocheckpoint molecules in this setting are known as PD-1 (programmed death) and PD-L1 (programmed death ligand-1). When these molecules interact in tumors, they prevent immune cells from attacking the cancer cells, allowing them to escape
Blocking PD-1 and PD-L1 can result in striking and durable responses, with global overall response rates of 20% to 25% as monotherapy in metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer, Soria said in the article. These impressive results have yet to be confirmed in other trials; nonetheless immune checkpoint inhibitors will most likely become part of daily practice for non-small-cell lung cancer in the near future. Immunotherapy has come of age and is here to stay.
At ELCC, Armida DIncecco, MD, from Istituto Toscano Tumori in Livorno, Italy, and colleagues, suggested combining immunotherapy drugs with other targeted therapies in lung cancer is likely to be beneficial, according to the article.
To read the full article
To read the full article, visit: http://www.oncologynurseadvisor.com/immunotherapy-data-marks-new-era-for-treating-lung-cancer/article/342366/