Is anticancer imunotherapy break‑trough in lung cancer therapy?

Supplementum 01/2019 Imunoterapie

Doc. MUDr. Milada Zemanová, Ph.D.

Onkologická klinika 1. LF UK a VFN, Praha



Lung cancer leads to death within 5 years in 85-90% of newly diagnosed cases. Lung carcinomas with high mutation load belong to tumors with a good response to antitumor immunotherapy using checkpoint inhibitors. Monoclonal antibodies against the PD-1 receptor (nivolumab, pembrolizumab) or against the PD-L1 ligand (atezolizumab, durvalumab) have been registered for clinical use in lung tumors. The breakthrough in the second (and the next) line of treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is previously unattained survival median of over 12 months, benefit is particularly relevant for patients with high PD-L1 expression. A major breakthrough in the treatment of advanced NSCLC in patients with high PD-L1 (TPS > 50%) is the significantly higher potent efficacy of monotherapy with pembrolizumab compared to chemotherapy with median survival over 20 months. In patients with low or totally negative PD-L1 expression, the combination of chemotherapy + immunotherapy is significantly better than chemotherapy alone, with median survival rates in various evaluations of 15.2-23.7 months. A breakthrough in inoperable NSCLC is a significant prolongation of two and three-year survival, a 50% longer survival median, doubling the percentage of potentially cured patients after 20 years of treatment stagnation. Breakthrough in extensive stage small cell carcinoma is a significant prolongation of survival and achievement of significantly more long-term remissions by adding atezolizumab to standard chemotherapy including carboplatin and etoposide.



lung cancer, checkpoint inhibitors, immunotherapy



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