NSCLC Case Study and Update on Immunotherapy in Lung Cancer
Lung Cancer: During the last ten years major changes developed in the treatment of advanced lung cancer. Till 2008 the one fits all approach was the standard of care. New developments in molecular genetics shifted the treatment paradigm and some of these patients were treated with biological drugs that were specific for detected gene mutations or rearrangements with great success. The limitations of these new technologies are related to the facts that only a small proportion of patients can derive benefit.
Lung cancer was considered to be a non-immunogenic model for immune treatment following a large number of negative studies with vaccines and cytokines treatments. The last four years were critical in the understanding of the role of immunomodulation in the treatment of patients suffering from advanced lung cancer. Favorable results were obtained with the use of checkpoint inhibitors in patients with different settings of lung cancer. Improvement in the treatment of these patients were achieved with the use of biomarkers predicting for efficacy and the understanding of the role of the microenviroment of the tumor.
The remaining challenge to improve the results of this approach and at the same time to reduce the cost of the treatment improving the cost benefit equation is to further develop approaches to select the patients with the best chances of achieving benefit. Presentations at this meeting will discuss this important issue.