Dr. Antonia on Emerging Immunotherapies in Lung Cancer

Scott J. Antonia, MD, PhD
Published: Thursday, Dec 01, 2016



Scott J. Antonia, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Thoracic Oncology at Moffit Cancer Center, discusses immunotherapies that are emerging in the field of lung cancer.

There are a large number of agents being studied. The ones that are the most advanced in the pipeline are in combination, Antonia says, such as anti–PD-1 agents with anti–CTLA-4 inhibitors. The CTLA-4 agents, tremelimumab and ipilimumab (Yervoy), are being combined with a PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitor. Randomized trials are ongoing now; therefore, it is uncertain that the combinations will produce greater efficacy versus the single agents. However, early trials look very promising, he adds.

Beyond that, there is a pipeline of different immunotherapeutics that are being tested alone or in combination. This is also a challenge, as there is such heterogeneity among patients and across different malignancies, and there is a large number of these combinations.

Antonia questions how all of these combinations can be tested, but adds that it is just not possible. There needs to be development of better biomarkers that allow for more logical development of these combinations. 


Scott J. Antonia, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Thoracic Oncology at Moffit Cancer Center, discusses immunotherapies that are emerging in the field of lung cancer.

There are a large number of agents being studied. The ones that are the most advanced in the pipeline are in combination, Antonia says, such as anti–PD-1 agents with anti–CTLA-4 inhibitors. The CTLA-4 agents, tremelimumab and ipilimumab (Yervoy), are being combined with a PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitor. Randomized trials are ongoing now; therefore, it is uncertain that the combinations will produce greater efficacy versus the single agents. However, early trials look very promising, he adds.

Beyond that, there is a pipeline of different immunotherapeutics that are being tested alone or in combination. This is also a challenge, as there is such heterogeneity among patients and across different malignancies, and there is a large number of these combinations.

Antonia questions how all of these combinations can be tested, but adds that it is just not possible. There needs to be development of better biomarkers that allow for more logical development of these combinations. 



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