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Immunotherapy to Have Emerging Role in Squamous Cell Lung Cancer

Danielle Bucco
Published: Wednesday, Nov 22, 2017

George R. Blumenschein, MD

George R. Blumenschein, MD
Similar to other lung cancer subtypes, combination regimens—particularly with checkpoint inhibitors and chemotherapy—are showing interest for patients with squamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

on Advanced Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer, Blumenschein, a professor in the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discussed the current treatment landscape for patients with squamous cell lung cancer.

OncLive: What did you highlight in your presentation on advanced squamous cell carcinomas?

Blumenschein: I spoke about the current state of affairs regarding immunotherapy for the advancement of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the lung. I touched on strategies for identifying patients, the activity of the approved compounds in the space, as well as potential future approaches to refine selection of patients for therapies with immunotherapy. 

How do you determine the sequencing of treatments for these patients?

In terms of the standard of care, what we do when patients present with newly diagnosed metastatic disease is we take into account the patient’s comorbidities. Are they candidates for immunotherapy? We also look at their PD-L1 status and whether that patient will be able to receive pembrolizumab or another option.
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