Within 2016, the FDA approved two immunotherapies – also called checkpoint inhibitors – for people with some forms of lung cancer whose cancer starts growing again after other treatment. In October, 2016, the FDA approved Tencentriq (atezolizumab) for second line treatment for some people with lung cancer. There is a potential for Keytruda (pembrolizumab) to be approved by the FDA for first treatment after diagnosis adding more treatment options for doctors and patients. The field of immunotherapy is moving especially fast with news of the latest advances happening on almost a daily basis.
Ongoing research and innovation in science and technology has led to significant progress for all forms of lung cancer. Here are some highlights of the recent results of clinical trials.
It’s been nearly 20 years since there has been a new treatment for small cell lung cancer, an aggressive form of lung cancer. Recent positive results from clinical trials of new targeted therapies that are designed to deliver anticancer medicine directly to cancer cells and immunotherapies designed to stimulate the immune system to fight cancer are offering hope.
Immunotherapies have also been showing promise in different lines of treatment for non-small cell lung cancer but research is showing that the each one is unique. Opdivo (nivolumab) is effective as a second line therapy but will require more research for use as a first line therapy. Tencentriq improved the time some people with a specific type of lung cancer lived.