Dr. Chaft on the Rise of Immunotherapy in Lung Cancer

Jamie E. Chaft, MD

Jamie E. Chaft, MD, thoracic medical oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the rise of immunotherapy in lung cancer and research with this treatment modality that is on the horizon.

Immunotherapy rapidly moved from the second-line setting to the frontline setting in a subset of patients with high PD-L1 expression, explains Chaft. Studies indicate that combinations of chemotherapy plus immunotherapy are better than chemotherapy alone for patients with small cell lung cancer and non–small cell lung cancer. However, in select patient subgroups, the difference between chemotherapy alone and chemoimmunotherapy is not as significant, says Chaft.

Immunotherapy is now the standard of care in the frontline setting for all patients without an oncogenic driver, according to Chaft. The next step in research is to evaluate single-agent immunotherapy versus chemoimmunotherapy. Research must still determine the best patient population for immunotherapy alone versus chemoimmunotherapy and the ideal sequencing of drugs. PD-L1 has served as the primary predictive biomarker for immunotherapy, but further research is required to find more further biomarkers, concludes Chaft.

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