Final Thoughts on Targeted Therapy and I/O Agents in NSCLC


Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD, FASCO: It seems that the more we go away from PD-L1 [programmed death-ligand 1], the more we keep coming back to PD-L1 expression in lung cancer. This has been a great discussion on the role of TMB [tumor mutational burden] and biomarkers. We clearly are looking for more interesting biomarkers for treating patients with immune checkpoint inhibitors. We’re now moving from metastatic disease with immune checkpoint inhibitors to curative settings. We’ve already seen the emergence of DURVA [durvalumab] in stage III unresectable disease. There have been adjuvant therapy trials that have completed accrual in many instances with immune checkpoint inhibition in stage I, II, and III patients after surgery. In the next 2 or 3 years, we’re going to see some exciting results, which will help us understand if we can cure more patients with immune checkpoint inhibition. This has been an extremely informative discussion, and before we end this discussion, I would like to get final thoughts from our panelists, starting with Dr Cho.

Byoung Chul Cho, MD, PhD: For 2019 and after, this is really an exciting era for our patients and thoracic oncologists, because we have many more actionable targets with excellent targeted agents and targeted novel immunotherapy in advanced and locally advanced non—small cell lung cancer. It’s exciting, and I think we need more research to further elaborate novel targeted agent immunotherapy in our non–small cell lung cancer patients. Thank you very much.

Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD, FASCO: Thank you. Pasi?

Pasi A. Jänne, MD, PhD: I would just say that 2019 has a year of amazing progress in the targeted-therapy front, multiple trials demonstrating improved overall survival, which is what we ultimately want for our patients: new therapeutic modalities, such as those targeting KRAS, RET, and MET. There’s been a lot of progress. I fully anticipate 2020 will continue to bring us more, and I think at the end of the day, these are all benefits for our patients, which is great.

Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD, FASCO: Thank you. Johan?

Johan F. Vansteenkiste, MD, PhD: Well, comparing 2018 and 2019, I think 2019 was a better year for the targeted therapies with NTRK and RET coming to maturity and probably MET exon 14 in the very near future as well. For immunotherapy, 2018 was probably a stronger year with 1 notable exception of what we will have here at the ESMO [European Society for Medical Oncology] Congress, the CheckMate 227 presentation on overall survival in patients with PD-L1-positivity.

Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD, FASCO: Thank you. I want to thank our panel for joining us today. Thanks for your value contributions in educating our audience.

Transcript Edited for Clarity

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