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Dr. Socinski on Challenges Facing Immunotherapy Combinations

Mark A. Socinski
Published: Thursday, Feb 02, 2017



Mark A. Socinski, MD, executive medical director of the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute, discusses challenges facing immunotherapy combinations in patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Immunotherapy is an exciting treatment, but it can be improved upon in several ways, explains Socinski. There is supporting evidence stating that selecting patients who strongly stain for PD-L1 have better outcomes when treated with immunotherapies. Combining agents with chemotherapy also has encouraging data that can help maximize the outcome of immunotherapy.

The combination of PD-1 and CTLA-4 agents have shown an increase in response rates, causing many physicians to be excited about the future combinations of immune agents, says Socinski. However, the concern is once the number of immunotherapeutic agents combined increases, there is an enhanced risk of toxicity.
 


Mark A. Socinski, MD, executive medical director of the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute, discusses challenges facing immunotherapy combinations in patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Immunotherapy is an exciting treatment, but it can be improved upon in several ways, explains Socinski. There is supporting evidence stating that selecting patients who strongly stain for PD-L1 have better outcomes when treated with immunotherapies. Combining agents with chemotherapy also has encouraging data that can help maximize the outcome of immunotherapy.

The combination of PD-1 and CTLA-4 agents have shown an increase in response rates, causing many physicians to be excited about the future combinations of immune agents, says Socinski. However, the concern is once the number of immunotherapeutic agents combined increases, there is an enhanced risk of toxicity.
 

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