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Future of Immunotherapy Use in Lung Cancer

Benjamin P. Levy, MD
Published Online: Thursday, Apr 06, 2017



Transcript:

Benjamin P. Levy, MD:
We’ve come quite a ways, in the past few years, with single agent immunotherapy. And now, the next horizon, and the next frontier, is what I call I-O (immuno-oncology), or “immunotherapy combination mania,” or “combo mania.”

As a dedicated thoracic medical oncologist, I can’t keep up with how many different strategies are being looked at. But some of the ones that are being looked at, of course, that are well known to a lot of us, is looking at immunotherapy in combination with chemotherapy. There’s some compelling data coming out that is looking at pembrolizumab in combination with carboplatin and pemetrexed. There are I-O/I-O combinations that are being looked at; OX40 agonists in combination with immunotherapy; IDO (indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase) inhibitors in combination with immunotherapy; and potentially, targeted therapies in combination with immunotherapy. It’s the wild, wild west. There’s a lot going on. There’s a groundswell of clinical trials being done, right now, that I certainly can’t keep up with. I try.

I think we’ll have to wait and see how the dust settles here—whether all of this will pan out or not. I think it’s important that community physicians are aware, for now, that immunotherapy is approved as a single agent, upfront, for those patients with a tumor proportion score greater than 50%, and then in the refractory setting for both adenocarcinomas and squamous lung cancer. Combining it with chemotherapy—we don’t know. Combining it with other I-Os—we’re not sure. We’ll have to see. And, again, I’ve said this in this interview before, if you bring me back 6 months from now, I may have a very different story to tell.

Transcript Edited for Clarity
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Transcript:

Benjamin P. Levy, MD:
We’ve come quite a ways, in the past few years, with single agent immunotherapy. And now, the next horizon, and the next frontier, is what I call I-O (immuno-oncology), or “immunotherapy combination mania,” or “combo mania.”

As a dedicated thoracic medical oncologist, I can’t keep up with how many different strategies are being looked at. But some of the ones that are being looked at, of course, that are well known to a lot of us, is looking at immunotherapy in combination with chemotherapy. There’s some compelling data coming out that is looking at pembrolizumab in combination with carboplatin and pemetrexed. There are I-O/I-O combinations that are being looked at; OX40 agonists in combination with immunotherapy; IDO (indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase) inhibitors in combination with immunotherapy; and potentially, targeted therapies in combination with immunotherapy. It’s the wild, wild west. There’s a lot going on. There’s a groundswell of clinical trials being done, right now, that I certainly can’t keep up with. I try.

I think we’ll have to wait and see how the dust settles here—whether all of this will pan out or not. I think it’s important that community physicians are aware, for now, that immunotherapy is approved as a single agent, upfront, for those patients with a tumor proportion score greater than 50%, and then in the refractory setting for both adenocarcinomas and squamous lung cancer. Combining it with chemotherapy—we don’t know. Combining it with other I-Os—we’re not sure. We’ll have to see. And, again, I’ve said this in this interview before, if you bring me back 6 months from now, I may have a very different story to tell.

Transcript Edited for Clarity
View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Oncology Best Practice™: Informed Decision Making in Advanced NSCLC: Matching Treatment to PatientOct 25, 20171.0
Community Practice Connections™: 17th Annual International Lung Cancer Congress®Oct 31, 20171.5
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