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Bauml Discusses State of Immunotherapy Biomarkers in NSCLC

Brandon Scalea
Published: Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018

Joshua Bauml, MD

Joshua Bauml, MD
Biomarkers are useful for clinicians when deciding the proper treatment of patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), explained Joshua Bauml, MD, but there are several limitations to the two most frequently used biomarkers in the current landscape.

State of the Science Summit™ on Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer, Bauml, assistant professor, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and chair of the meeting, discussed the limitations of PD-L1 and TMB as immunotherapy biomarkers in NSCLC and emerging biomarkers showing promise in the field.

OncLive: What are some main points from your presentation that you hope the audience took home?

Bauml: Immunotherapy has changed the landscape of how we treat lung cancer and it has been very exciting. Unfortunately, not everyone responds to immunotherapy and, in fact, even in a heavily preselected group, the response rate to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) only remained at about 50%. This is not what we are able to achieve with targeted therapies. The available biomarkers—and here we are talking about PD-L1, and more recently, TMB—these are what we call “surrogate” biomarkers. They are getting at something that might imply a response, but they are not a direct understanding of what is happening in the body or what is leading to these drugs working.
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