Major changes in treatments for patients with metastatic squamous cell lung cancer

Johan Vansteenkiste, MD, PhD of University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium discusses major changes in first-line treatment for patients with metastatic squamous cell lung cancer. Firstly, overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) was improved when an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) targeting antibody such as necitumumab was added to traditional gemcitabine and platinum-based chemotherapy. This progress is crucial for squamous cell lung cancer patients. Furthermore, first-line immunotherapy with pembrolizumab was shown to be superior to chemotherapy in patients expressing high levels of programmed death-ligand (PD-L1). In addition, immunotherapy has changed treatments for relapsed setting, second-line, or third-line patients. These results are less important for adenocarcinomas where there are more treatment options, than squamous cell carcinoma where there are few alternatives. Recorded at the 2016 World Conference of Lung Cancer (WCLC) of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) in Vienna, Austria.
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