Dr. Socinski on New Applications of Immunotherapy in NSCLC

Mark A. Socinski, MD
Published: Monday, Apr 15, 2019



Mark A. Socinski, MD, executive medical director, AdventHealth Medical Group, discusses new applications for immunotherapy in the treatment of patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

In order to capitalize on recent advances in the field, there are 2 basic elements that providers have to get right, explains Socinski. One is the diagnosis, which includes histology and PD-L1 status, or molecular status in stage IV disease. The second important factor is disease stage. Patients with stage I and II disease can be treated with surgery. Stage III has traditionally involved chemoradiation, but data from the PACIFIC trial have indicated that immunotherapy upon completion of chemoradiation leads to a survival advantage in that setting, says Socinski.

Most of the advancements with targeted therapy and immunotherapy have been in stage IV NSCLC, but the results of the PACIFIC trial are a huge step forward in the field. In that study, treatment with durvalumab (Imfinzi) following chemoradiation led to a median progression-free survival of 17.2 months compared with 5.6 months with placebo. Moreover, there are a number of adjuvant trials looking at immunotherapy and targeted therapies.

Socinski concludes that researchers are enthusiastic about the progress with these therapies in stage IV disease and are hopeful these advances can extend into earlier settings.
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Mark A. Socinski, MD, executive medical director, AdventHealth Medical Group, discusses new applications for immunotherapy in the treatment of patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

In order to capitalize on recent advances in the field, there are 2 basic elements that providers have to get right, explains Socinski. One is the diagnosis, which includes histology and PD-L1 status, or molecular status in stage IV disease. The second important factor is disease stage. Patients with stage I and II disease can be treated with surgery. Stage III has traditionally involved chemoradiation, but data from the PACIFIC trial have indicated that immunotherapy upon completion of chemoradiation leads to a survival advantage in that setting, says Socinski.

Most of the advancements with targeted therapy and immunotherapy have been in stage IV NSCLC, but the results of the PACIFIC trial are a huge step forward in the field. In that study, treatment with durvalumab (Imfinzi) following chemoradiation led to a median progression-free survival of 17.2 months compared with 5.6 months with placebo. Moreover, there are a number of adjuvant trials looking at immunotherapy and targeted therapies.

Socinski concludes that researchers are enthusiastic about the progress with these therapies in stage IV disease and are hopeful these advances can extend into earlier settings.

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