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FDA Approval of Atezolizumab for NSCLC

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



Transcript:

Benjamin P. Levy, MD:
Atezolizumab is the third immunotherapy drug approved, and it is the new kid on the block. The data that got atezolizumab approved was the OAK data. This was on the heels of the POPLAR data, which compared atezolizumab to docetaxel in a phase II study. And the larger phase III trial was the OAK data, which compared atezolizumab to docetaxel. With pembrolizumab and nivolumab, we saw improvements in overall survival; we saw impressive improvements in overall survival with atezolizumab to docetaxel, and importantly, independent of PD-L1, it didn’t matter. Even those patients with low PD-L1 expression still derived a benefit from atezolizumab.

It’s a very large study. The drug is well tolerated, and, because of that, this is yet another drug we have in our therapeutic armamentarium. The dosing is a little different. It’s every 3 weeks (which can be convenient to some patients) versus every 2 weeks. But we have an embarrassment of riches, now, for patients that are chemorefractory. I just want to temper all the science and enthusiasm with that—not every patient will respond to these drugs, but I think it’s incumbent upon us to at least offer them for those patients that are eligible, if not under a clinical trial, under routine clinical practice.

Transcript Edited for Clarity
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Transcript:

Benjamin P. Levy, MD:
Atezolizumab is the third immunotherapy drug approved, and it is the new kid on the block. The data that got atezolizumab approved was the OAK data. This was on the heels of the POPLAR data, which compared atezolizumab to docetaxel in a phase II study. And the larger phase III trial was the OAK data, which compared atezolizumab to docetaxel. With pembrolizumab and nivolumab, we saw improvements in overall survival; we saw impressive improvements in overall survival with atezolizumab to docetaxel, and importantly, independent of PD-L1, it didn’t matter. Even those patients with low PD-L1 expression still derived a benefit from atezolizumab.

It’s a very large study. The drug is well tolerated, and, because of that, this is yet another drug we have in our therapeutic armamentarium. The dosing is a little different. It’s every 3 weeks (which can be convenient to some patients) versus every 2 weeks. But we have an embarrassment of riches, now, for patients that are chemorefractory. I just want to temper all the science and enthusiasm with that—not every patient will respond to these drugs, but I think it’s incumbent upon us to at least offer them for those patients that are eligible, if not under a clinical trial, under routine clinical practice.

Transcript Edited for Clarity
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