Research shows using both immunotherapy and chemotherapy for treatment doubles survival among those diagnosed with lung cancer.
Lung cancer experts have been impressed by long-term study results that continue to show the combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy doubles survival compared with chemotherapy alone.
The results are from a 4-year follow-up of 160 patients with previously untreated stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) taking part in the trial of immunotherapy drug pembrozlizumab (Keytruda) plus pemetrexed–platinum chemotherapy.
After a median follow-up of 46.3 months, the median overall survival was 22.0 months with the combination versus 10.6 months with chemotherapy alone.
A similar pattern was seen for progression-free survival Patients receiving the combination had a median 9.0 months progression-free survival, versus 4.9 months with chemotherapy alone).
Combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy doubles survival
Charu Aggarwal, MD, MPH, Leslye M. Heisler associate professor for lung cancer excellence, Penn Medicine, Philadelphia, said the outcomes with the combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy were “terrific.”
However, he noted the “full effect” of chemotherapy plus immunotherapy has not “fully been captured in our overall cancer mortality statistics in the U.S. yet.”
The new results were presented January 28 at the 2020 World Conference on Lung Cancer, held virtually because of the ongoing pandemic.