Immunotherapy in treatment naïve advanced non-small cell lung cancer

Vinicius Ernani, Apar Kishor Ganti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) comprises approximately 85% of lung cancers and, unfortunately, more than half of these patients are diagnosed with metastatic disease. Platinum-based chemotherapy has for long been the standard frontline therapy for advanced disease. Despite remarkable advances in targeted therapy for a subset of patients harboring a driver mutation, the prognosis in the majority of the lung cancer population have not changed significantly. More recently, immunotherapy has drastically changed the treatment of NSCLC and have established a new treatment paradigm for these patients. Pembrolizumab is now the new mainstay first-line treatment for those with high-PD-L1 expression. However, many questions remain regarding how to sequence and combine these agents in the frontline setting. The optimal patient selection strategies are also unclear. High PD-L1 expression is associated with higher response rates, but even patients with low or absent PD-L1 expression benefit from these drugs. More recently, tumor mutational burden is been proposed as a potential predictive marker for response. This article will review the data regarding the usage of immunotherapy in treatment naive advanced NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S412-S421
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Immunotherapy
  • Metastatic
  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
  • Treatment naive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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