Immunotherapy for lung cancer
Immunotherapy is designed to stimulate the body's immune system to attack and kill cancer cells.
Checkpoint inhibitors work by blocking signaling proteins that allow cancer cells to hide from the immune system. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved checkpoint inhibitors to treat specific cases of metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer. The FDA also has approved the checkpoint inhibitor durvalumab (Imfinzi®) to treat certain cases of Stage III lung cancer. These drugs target the PD-1 and/or PD-L1 cell receptors, which help to regulate immune response.
Immunotherapy may not be recommended for all patients, and responses to the treatment may vary widely. Immunotherapy may also be used in combination with other treatments such as surgery or chemotherapy. For instance, pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) has been approved by the FDA to be a first-line treatment in combination with chemotherapy in some cases of non-small cell lung cancer.