Dr. Kelly on Immunotherapy Combinations for Patients With NSCLC

Karen Kelly, MD
Published: Thursday, Aug 25, 2016


Karen Kelly, MD, associate director for Clinical Research, Jennifer Rene Harmon Tegley and Elizabeth Erica Harmon Endowed Chair in Cancer Clinical Research, professor of Medicine, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, UC Davis Health System, discusses the potential of immunotherapy combinations as treatment for patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Much research lies ahead regarding combinations of immunotherapy agents in the field of lung cancer, Kelly explains. However, prior studies in melanoma demonstrate that PD-1 and CTLA-4 inhibitors do demonstrate significant survival benefits when combined. Data reported for nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) in NSCLC have shown promise; however, the associated adverse events are concerning.

Practitioners hope that these combinations produce deep, durable responses that translate into prolonged survival. Nevertheless, it is not yet determined whether two-drug combinations will be more effective versus monotherapy with an immune agent, she adds.

Karen Kelly, MD, associate director for Clinical Research, Jennifer Rene Harmon Tegley and Elizabeth Erica Harmon Endowed Chair in Cancer Clinical Research, professor of Medicine, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, UC Davis Health System, discusses the potential of immunotherapy combinations as treatment for patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Much research lies ahead regarding combinations of immunotherapy agents in the field of lung cancer, Kelly explains. However, prior studies in melanoma demonstrate that PD-1 and CTLA-4 inhibitors do demonstrate significant survival benefits when combined. Data reported for nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) in NSCLC have shown promise; however, the associated adverse events are concerning.

Practitioners hope that these combinations produce deep, durable responses that translate into prolonged survival. Nevertheless, it is not yet determined whether two-drug combinations will be more effective versus monotherapy with an immune agent, she adds.

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