Heather Wakelee, MD, associate professor of medicine (oncology), Stanford University Medical Center, discusses single-agent immunotherapy in patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Heather Wakelee, MD, associate professor of medicine (oncology), Stanford University Medical Center, discusses single-agent immunotherapy in patients with non—small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
There has been a significant change in how physicians are treating patients with NSCLC with or without driver mutations, Wakelee says. If patients don’t have driver mutations, the next thing to analyze is PD-L1 status. If PD-L1 expression is ≥50%, then single-agent immunotherapy is a good option, according to recent data. KEYNOTE-024, which tested single-agent pembrolizumab (Keytruda) against chemotherapy, found that the PD-1 inhibitor resulted in improvement of response, progression-free survival, and overall survival. Pembrolizumab has since been the standard of care for patients with NSCLC who have a tumor proportion score of ≥50%.
Wakelee adds that further studies need to be done for single-agent immunotherapy to become the standard treatment for patients with PD-L1 expression of <50%.