Immune checkpoint inhibitors: Significant advancements in non-small cell lung cancer treatment

Link to article at PubMed

Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2021 Feb 13:zxab041. doi: 10.1093/ajhp/zxab041. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: This article explores the efficacy, toxicity, place in therapy, and considerations for use of recently approved immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

SUMMARY: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States and is responsible for more cancer-related deaths than breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer combined. The landscape for lung cancer treatment is evolving with the approval of new and exciting novel therapies. Within the last decade numerous ICIs have been approved for use in the management of the most common subtype of lung cancer, NSCLC. The ICI agents currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in NSCLC include ipilimumab, pembrolizumab, nivolumab, durvalumab, and atezolizumab. These agents are approved for specific indications; therefore, they are not interchangeable. This review focuses on the landmark trials that led to each FDA-approved indication, as well as common toxicities seen with use of these agents. It also discusses the use of ICIs in special populations and unique considerations prior to initiation of treatment with these novel therapies in a patient with NSCLC.

CONCLUSION: ICIs can provide a breakthrough treatment option for the management of NSCLC and are rapidly being adopted into clinical practice. It is important to be familiar with appropriate selection of an ICI therapy option for each patient based on approved indication, unique considerations, and anticipated toxicities.

PMID:33580648 | DOI:10.1093/ajhp/zxab041

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