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Expert Highlights Next Steps With Immunotherapy in NSCLC

Gina Columbus @ginacolumbusonc
Published: Saturday, May 06, 2017

Daniel Morgensztern, MD

Daniel Morgensztern, MD

The future of immunotherapy in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) will eventually include all patient populations—including those with PD-L1–negative disease—experts predict.

State of the Science Summit on Advanced Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer, Morgensztern, associate professor, Department of Medicine, Oncology Division, Medical Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, discussed both the single-agent and combination immunotherapy data in NSCLC and what researchers are poised to do next in the field.

OncLive: What did you cover in your presentation on immunotherapy?

Morgensztern: We gave an overview of the immune system, the initial data with single-agent immune checkpoint inhibitors, and then we moved on to first-line immune checkpoint inhibitors for specific patient populations. We concluded with biomarker predictors for response and the new updates from the CA209-003 trial, which looked at the 5-year survival for nivolumab alone. 

No. I bet you nobody could even dream of having such an interesting treatment. We started to really think about this in 2012, when the first study was published. By then, we didn’t know how long the effect would last. We had seen some interesting responses and not much toxicity. By 2015, when we had the update for patients with NSCLC with the 3-year survival at 27% with the 3 mg/kg of nivolumab, then we started to think, “Maybe we found something that will be really good; it just needs some improvements.” 

We hear about pembrolizumab and nivolumab often, but what is new with atezolizumab?

Atezolizumab was the third immunotherapy drug to be approved in lung cancer; it was approved earlier for bladder cancer. We are seeing interesting data, and the efficacy is not much different than from pembrolizumab or nivolumab.
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Community Practice Connections™: New Directions in Advanced Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Emerging Evidence of ImmunotherapyAug 13, 20191.5
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