KEYNOTE-028: how do we use immunotherapy in small cell lung cancer?
Recently, PD-1 axis inhibition has started to show activity in small cell lung cancer (SCLC), enough to suggest that, at last, a new treatment option for SCLC may have arrived. Nivolumab and nivolumab + ipilimumab are now both listed in the NCCN guidelines for second line or beyond therapy in SCLC, based on data from the Checkmate-032 study, although neither of these regimens has yet been approved by the FDA (1). Additionally, a small phase Ib study (KEYNOTE-028) recently published in The Journal of Clinical Oncology by Ott et al. has explored the use of pembrolizumab monotherapy in previously treated extensive stage SCLC (2). The emergence of immunotherapy as a therapeutic option in SCLC is exciting, but there is still a lot to learn about its true potential in this disease.