Dr. Wakelee on Single-Agent Immunotherapy in NSCLC

Heather Wakelee, MD
Published: Thursday, Aug 02, 2018



Heather Wakelee, MD, associate professor of medicine (oncology), Stanford University Medical Center, discusses single-agent immunotherapy in patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

There has been a significant change in how physicians are treating patients with NSCLC with or without driver mutations, Wakelee says. If patients don’t have driver mutations, the next thing to analyze is PD-L1 status. If PD-L1 expression is ≥50%, then single-agent immunotherapy is a good option, according to recent data. KEYNOTE-024, which tested single-agent pembrolizumab (Keytruda) against chemotherapy, found that the PD-1 inhibitor resulted in improvement of response, progression-free survival, and overall survival. Pembrolizumab has since been the standard of care for patients with NSCLC who have a tumor proportion score of ≥50%.

Wakelee adds that further studies need to be done for single-agent immunotherapy to become the standard treatment for patients with PD-L1 expression of <50%.


Heather Wakelee, MD, associate professor of medicine (oncology), Stanford University Medical Center, discusses single-agent immunotherapy in patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

There has been a significant change in how physicians are treating patients with NSCLC with or without driver mutations, Wakelee says. If patients don’t have driver mutations, the next thing to analyze is PD-L1 status. If PD-L1 expression is ≥50%, then single-agent immunotherapy is a good option, according to recent data. KEYNOTE-024, which tested single-agent pembrolizumab (Keytruda) against chemotherapy, found that the PD-1 inhibitor resulted in improvement of response, progression-free survival, and overall survival. Pembrolizumab has since been the standard of care for patients with NSCLC who have a tumor proportion score of ≥50%.

Wakelee adds that further studies need to be done for single-agent immunotherapy to become the standard treatment for patients with PD-L1 expression of <50%.

View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: 18th Annual International Lung Cancer Congress®Oct 31, 20181.5
Clinical Interchange™: Translating Research to Inform Changing Paradigms: Assessment of Emerging Immuno-Oncology Strategies and Combinations across Lung, Head and Neck, and Bladder CancersOct 31, 20182.0
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