ELCC 2018 | Personalized therapy in thoracic malignancies

Dean Fennell

In this video, Dean Fennell, PhD, FRCP, of the University of Leicester, Leicester, UK, talks about delivering personalized therapy for patients with thoracic malignancies. From the 2018 European Lung Cancer Congress (ELCC) in Geneva, Switzerland, Prof. Fennell outlines potential targets such as EGFR, ALK and PD-L1 expression, and how developing tailored therapy can improve the outcomes of relapsed patients.

Transcript (edited for clarity):

I think if we look across all of thoracic malignancies, the continuing challenge I think for us is to identify ways in which we can target patients in a manner that gives the very best chance of those patients benefitting, that is called personalized medicine. We’ve seen scenarios such as EGFR, ALK, as real paradigms actually for personalized therapy and lung cancer.
It’s really now trying to explain how we can identify other groups of patients in order to treat them effectively. There are very good examples with immunotherapy now of course, standard of care, that PD-L1 one can be used to select a subgroup of patients likely to benefit with immunotherapy. So that will be a challenge in small cell lung cancer I’m sure and also for mesothelioma definitely, and an ongoing challenge within the lung cancer space.
The second challenge I think is that we’re not curing patients, even with the very best personalized therapies, and therefore we need to find some way of being able to sustain disease control and that means having better therapies in the relapse setting.
There will always be a challenge to find newer and better ways of controlling disease, and I think particularly with diseases like EGFR, ALK, lung cancers, we’ve had such tremendous success, not only with first-line targeted therapy, but second line, is what to do next, what’s the best way to continue to control these cancers selectively.

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