Lung Cancer

Could Certain NSCLC Patients Receive Combination Immunotherapy Without Chemotherapy?

The current therapeutic options for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are ever-expanding and evolving. In fact, a few immuno-oncology treatments have recently been upgraded from second-line to front-line status (when used in combination with chemotherapy) for particular stages of patients with the disease. Additional options are also being evaluated via clinical trials to see if certain patients may qualify for an immuno-oncology NSCLC treatment regimen that is entirely free of chemotherapeutic agents.

Three components to successful immunotherapy are required for such treatment types to prove efficacious: a source of antigen, T-cells activated and expanded by this antigen source that effectively attack cancer cells, and invocation of certain checkpoints that continue to keep these specific T-cells active against the cancer/tumor. Combination therapy composed of multiple immunotherapeutic agents will likely be required to successfully achieve these 3 components and ultimately provide certain NSCLC patients a promising and effective new treatment option.


  1. Ettinger DS, Wood DE, Aisner DL, et al. Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Version 5.2017, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2017;15(4):504-535.


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