Immunotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer: from clinical trials to real-world practice

Sawsan Rashdan, David E. Gerber


The introduction of immunotherapy in the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has resulted in a new era of treatment options that have substantially improved efficacy and tolerability when compared to chemotherapy. Since 2015, many immunotherapeutic agents have been approved for the in advanced NSCLC. Treatment of nivolumab, pembrolizumab, and atezolizumab are all approved in the second line setting. Pembrolizumab is also approved in the first line setting, both as monotherapy and in combination with chemotherapy. Durvalumab is now approved after concurrent chemoradiation for stage III lung cancer. A large number of ongoing clinical trials are investigating the use of checkpoint inhibitors in combination with other treatments in both NSCLC and small cell lung cancer.