Maximizing Decision Making in Treatment of Advanced NSCLC

October 27, 2017

James R Jett, MD, chief medical officer of Oncimmune, presented an update on the best new treatment strategies for Non‐Small Cell Lung Cancer at the NAMCP 2017 Fall Forum.

During the presentation, Dr Jett began by explaining that lung cancer treatment and management have changed over the last decade. He stated that 1.7 million people were diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and of those, two-thirds are expected to survive at least 5 years after diagnosis.

He also noted that the number of treatment options has increased significantly in recent years. Dr Jett cited data showing that in the last 5 years the FDA approved 15 new immunotherapies. Additionally, the FDA has approved immune therapies for advanced lung cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, and lymphoma in 2016 alone.

As a result, Dr Jett noted that overall survival has increased significantly since the 1980s, when survival after diagnosis of stage 4 NSCLC was 4 to 5 months—compared to 2 years in 2010. In the last 5 years, the addition of EGFR inhibitors, new frontline ALK inhibitors, and immune checkpoint inhibitors with anti-PD1 or anti-PDL1 inhibitors have also increased survival even more.

Dr Jett highlighted six areas of recent changes in the treatment of NSCLC, including precision medicine, EGFR: liquid biopsy, ALK translocations, immune checkpoint inhibitors, brain metastases, and long-term survival.

The advent of precision medicine in recent years has had a significant impact on the oncology field, accord to Dr Jett’s presentation. Precision medicine has allowed oncologists to target specific mutations instead of treating cancers with broad spectrum therapies.

“Treatment of Stage IV NSCLC has changed dramatically in the last five years,” Dr Jett concluded. “Immunotherapy is likely to move into frontline therapy in selected NSCLC. 5-year survival with stage IV NSCLC is now being observed in selected cases.”