New treatments for lung cancer

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Published: 26 Jul 2017
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Dr Edgardo Santos - Lynn Cancer Institute, Miami, USA

Dr Santos talks with ecancer at NOSCM 2017 about the New Orleans Summer Cancer Meeting 2017 and his talk about how immunotherapy has moved to the frontline in treatment of lung cancer. He goes on to discus the treatment of lung cancer using carboplatin plus pemetrexed in combination with pembrolizumab. He continues by outlining the clinical trial looking at using nivolumab plus ipilimumab in small cell lung cancer.

I am here in New Orleans where we have an annual meeting in haematology and oncology in which my colleagues describe, discuss all data presented in major congresses around the world including ASCO, which is the American Society for Clinical Oncology, ASH, ESMO, the European Society of Medical Oncology, and other congresses such as the World Lung Cancer Congress and the Breast Cancer Symposium and others.

This meeting has been developed in the last twelve years. I am the Program Director and Chair of the meeting. In this opportunity I was able to discuss immunotherapy in lung cancer. Basically what I will present is the data in which immunotherapy has moved to the frontline in the management of lung cancer. Right now our lung cancer patients have the possibility to receive immunotherapy as a monotherapy and leave the chemotherapy for later on. Recently, in May of this year, the FDA approved the combination of chemotherapy known as carboplatin plus pemetrexed in combination with pembrolizumab. So now our stage 4 lung cancers have two options in the frontline to improve their overall survival.

Also I will present data from Memorial Sloan Kettering on a clinical trial using the combination of nivolumab plus ipilimumab in small cell lung cancer, confirming what has been previously described in terms of better response rate for this population. Still we are waiting for the final data on overall survival and progression free survival.

Also in this opportunity I will be able to clarify many concepts and what to do with patients that have expression of a biomarker called PD-L1, which standards for programmed death ligand 1, and how this PD-L1 interacts with other mutations in lung cancer such as epidermal growth factor receptor, EGFR, or the anaplastic lymphoma kinase abnormality known as ALK, others such as KRAS, STK11, MET, exon 14 and many others. So this is very important because when we have a patient that is able to receive targeted therapy for these driver mutations how can we implement or how can we put immunotherapy in these patients. So the data continue developing and the clinical trials continue giving us more information on how to handle this special population in lung cancer.

So these are basically what I’m going to discuss in the New Orleans Summer Cancer Meeting in the immunotherapy session in lung cancer.