Published: Wed, April 18, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Lung cancer tops China's malignant tumour incidence rate

Lung cancer tops China's malignant tumour incidence rate

Pembrolizumab has already replaced chemotherapy as the treatment of choice in patients with tumors that express PD-L1 in more than 50 percent of cells, according to the AACR statement.

Pre-treating lung cancer patients with immune therapy drugs before they undergo surgery can help break down tumors, while limiting or even stopping the spread of cancer, NBC News reports.

In another study, the combination of Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo and Yervoy worked better than chemo alone for delaying the time until cancer worsened in advanced lung cancer patients whose tumors have many gene flaws, as almost half do, AP reported.

Likewise, a Johns Hopkins University study found patients treated with Opdivo were less likely to have their cancer progress after one year.

"That T-cells, activated by immunotherapy prior to surgery, can intercept rogue tumour cells throughout the body after the patient's operation and prevent the cancer from recurring may be a game-changer", said Dr Sung Poblete, president of Stand Up To Cancer, which funded the research.

Dr. Jorge Gomez, a volunteer spokesperson for the American Lung Association and a medical oncologist and director of thoracic oncology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NY, explained that "about 220,000 patients are diagnosed with lung cancer a year in the U.S.".

"Adding pembrolizumab to pemetrexed and platinum induction therapy and pemetrexed maintenance therapy significantly improves overall survival, progression-free survival (PFS), and objective response rate in patients with untreated metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) without sensitizing EGFR or ALK alterations", Gandhi said during an AACR press briefing. SU2C is now funding four Cancer Interception teams focusing on lung and pancreatic cancer. Doctors at Christiana Care's Gene Editing Institute in the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center are looking to gene editing to help decrease a patient's resistance to chemotherapy and improve their quality of life. Serious side effects were a little more common in the chemo group.

Common treatments for lung cancer include chemotherapy and immunotherapy. "We eagerly continue to await longer-term follow-up of this study", he said.

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For patients with PD-L1-low tumors, defined as those with expression between 1% and 50% (n = 140), median PFS was 9.7 months for those assigned atezolizumab and 6.9 months for those assigned the control regimen (HR = 0.57; 95% CI, 0.38-0.84).

Gandhi's study included 616 patients with advanced lung cancer, ages 34 to 84, from medical centers in 16 countries.

For non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer patients, median survival with chemotherapy alone is somewhere around 11 or 12 months, he said.

Several other questions remain, including whether patients with high levels of PD-L1 expression on their tumor cells who have already been found to benefit from this type of immunotherapy reap any extra benefits from chemotherapy, Yau said.

But the median survival among the study participants who received both immunotherapy and chemo has yet to be reached.

Dr. Gomez thinks the survival rate could be as high as double chemotherapy alone, "which would be very impressive", he said. I lead the Yale lung team.

"We have a tool that helps us determine who are the patients that are most likely to benefit from this combination", Hellmann said.

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