Dr. Raez on the Potential Utility of Cemiplimab in NSCLC


Luis E. Raez, MD, discusses the potential utility of cemiplimab-rwlc in non–small cell lung cancer.

Luis E. Raez, MD, medical director of Memorial Cancer Institute, and chief of Hematology/Oncology at Memorial Healthcare System, discusses the potential utility of cemiplimab-rwlc (Libtayo) in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Single-agent immunotherapy is a standard of care for patients with NSCLC whose PD-L1 expression is 50% or greater, explains Raez. Moreover, chemotherapy in combination with immunotherapy can be utilized for patients irrespective of PD-L1 status.

Cemiplimab, a PD-1 inhibitor, has demonstrated improved efficacy versus chemotherapy for patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC whose PD-L1 expression level is at least 50%, says Raez. A supplemental biologics license application for the agent received a priority review designation from the FDA in October 2020 for this indication based on findings from the phase 3 EMPOWER-Lung1 trial.

Although the potential introduction of this agent to the lung cancer armamentarium is welcome, single-agent immunotherapies, including pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and atezolizumab (Tecentriq), are established in the space, Raez explains. As such, cemiplimab may not have widespread utility, and physician preference may be relied on for treatment selection, concludes Raez.

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