Clinical factors in the selection of patients for first-line immunotherapy of lung cancer

Benjamin Besse, MD, PhD, Institut Gustave Roussy, Paris, France, discusses clinical factors in the selection of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients for first-line immunotherapy.

In particular, Prof Besse discusses the anticipated approval of the immune checkpoint inhibitor, pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) in the treatment of stage IV NSCLC patients who have not received any previous therapy. A key question is to identify which patients are most likely to benefit from treatment with pembrolizumab.
Patients with tumours expressing high levels of PD-L1 are eligible for pembrolizumab therapy. However, other factors need to be considered, such as the absence of other genetic abnormalities, a good performance status and stable brain metastases.

Prof Besse highlights that tobacco consumption is probably the most appropriate clinical factor in patient selection as never-smokers hardly benefit from immunotherapy.

Recorded at the 2017 meeting of the British Thoracic Oncology Group (BTOG) in Dublin, Ireland.

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