Dr. Topalian on Evolution of PD-1/PD-L1 Agents in Oncology

Suzanne L. Topalian, MD

Suzanne L. Topalian, MD, director, Melanoma Program, professor of Surgery, Johns Hopkins Medicine, discusses how the use of PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors in multiple tumor types has dramatically evolved over the last 4 years.

The first report of a PD-1 antibody demonstrating clinical activity in 3 different cancer types was presented 4 years ago, Topalian explains. Though this was preliminary evidence, she admits, it was also very promising for the field. At the time, it was most surprising to see the responses in patients with non–small cell lung cancer.

In 2016, there are even more data being presented demonstrating the activity of anti–PD-1/PD-L1 agents in even more cancer types. Although researchers hoped that these outcomes would occur in the field, the responses seen across tumor types with these immunotherapy agents have exceeded expectations, she says.
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