Dr. Antonia on the Promise of Immunotherapy in NSCLC | OncLive

Dr. Antonia on the Promise of Immunotherapy in NSCLC

May 29, 2019

Scott J. Antonia, MD, PhD, instructor, Duke University School of Medicine, member, Duke Cancer Institute, discusses the promise of immunotherapy in patients with non–small cell lung cancer.

Scott J. Antonia, MD, PhD, instructor, Duke University School of Medicine, member, Duke Cancer Institute, discusses the promise of immunotherapy in patients with non—small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

When immunotherapy was initially tested in stage IV disease, physicians were doubtful that it would result in a clinical benefit. However, NSCLC appears to be the second most immunogenic tumor behind melanoma. One of the most exciting aspects of immunotherapy is that it yields durable responses and potential long-term survival in addition to improvements in median overall survival, says Antonia. In a study of patients with metastatic NSCLC, 15% of those treated with immunotherapy were alive at 5 years, he adds.

Antonia concludes that immunotherapy has improved the tail of the survival curve, generating further enthusiasm to test this type of treatment in earlier stage settings. Based on the compelling results of the PACIFIC trial in patients with unresectable stage III NSCLC, PD-L1 inhibition with durvalumab (Imfinzi) has now become the standard of care for patients who do not develop progressive disease following chemoradiation.


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