Dr. Patel on Choosing Immunotherapy Drugs for NSCLC

Manish R. Patel, DO, discusses choosing immunotherapy drugs for patients with non–small cell lung cancer.

Manish R. Patel, DO, associate professor of medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation, University of Minnesota, discusses choosing immunotherapy drugs for patients with non—small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The immunotherapy drugs available to treat NSCLC are virtually the same in terms of toxicity, according to Patel. Phase III trials with atezolizumab (Tecentriq), nivolumab (Opdivo), and pembrolizumab (Keytruda) show that the rate of immune-related adverse events (AEs) are virtually identical with few percentage point differences between them, explains Patel.

Additionally, the efficacy is very similar, with little differences based on PD-L1 expression versus tumor mutational burden, says Patel. Virtually none of the drugs have off-target effects, which makes the AEs more immune-related rather than other off-target toxicities. Patel views the available immunotherapy drugs as the same, making it difficult for him to say one is superior to the other.