Immunotherapy in lung cancer
Lung cancer is not only the most common cancer to affect humans in general, but also the leading cause of cancer mortalities worldwide, and the reason behind its fatality lies in part in its late presentation. By the time patients present by symptoms, they are already late, and the cancer is unresectable. There are two main types of lung cancer: Small cell and non-small cell lung cancer with the non-small cell variant forming more than 80% of cases.
Traditional therapies of lung cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy and all three of them are minimally effective in late stages -stage III and above-. Immunotherapy has been developed for lung cancer and has increased the survival of many patients with unresectable lung cancers.
Different classes of immunotherapies are used including:
- Checkpoint inhibitors like Atezolizumab, Durvalumab, and Nivolumab: They are used for advanced and metastatic small cell and non-small cell lung cancers.
- Anti-VEGF targeted monoclonal antibodies like Bevacizumab, and Ramucirumab: They are mostly used in advanced cases of non-small cell lung cancers.
Immunotherapy is one of the most promising modalities of treatment in advanced lung cancer, and drugs like checkpoint inhibitors have shown very promising results in increasing survival rates of cases with unresectable lung cancer.