Mark Kris, MD: In the field of lung cancer, we have been tremendously excited about developments in the treatment of adenocarcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. We have targeted therapies. We have checkpoint inhibitors that have really made a huge difference. And not only have these checkpoint inhibitors led to more shrinkage and longer survival, the most amazing thing that they’ve done is they have given us a cohort of people with metastatic cancer who have had no recurrence of their cancer now up to 5 years. These people lead very good lives, lives approaching the ones that they had before they had cancer. It’s really an amazing development for the field.
Most of the work has been in adenocarcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. What we have seen now in the last year or so is the development of immunotherapeutic agents, particularly checkpoint inhibitors, in small cell lung cancer as well. And this trial, the CASPIAN trial, is one giving checkpoint inhibitors with chemotherapy in small cell lung cancer.
We’re very anxious to hear these results because we have seen early indications of benefit with these drugs in small series and in a large randomized trial with similar use of a drug in that class, atezolizumab. And we have seen some benefit, but not the degree of benefit that we’ve seen in adenocarcinoma, for example. So we’re very excited about seeing this concept being taken into small cell lung cancer and giving not just the anti—PD-L1 [anti–programmed death-ligand 1] drug, but also giving an anti–CTLA-4 [anti–cytotoxic T-lymphocyte–associated protein 4] drug as well. We’re very excited about these data, and we hope this helps us take the next step in small cell lung cancer.
Transcript Edited for Clarity