Immunotheapy In Lung Cancer
During Novembers Lung Cancer Awareness month, Millennium Cancer Center wants to highlight the importance of immunotherapy in the treatment of lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths globally every year. And more often it gets diagnosed in very late stages when the disease has already spread to other parts of the body and surgical resection doesn’t seem to benefit the patient in anyways.
In lung cancer treatment, immunotherapy has demonstrated excellent and encouraging results, especially in patients who have failed a first line treatment.
Before the advent of immunotherapy, survival rates were very low, but now, it is considered to be the game changer in bringing up the statistics.
How it works ??
Immunotherapy helps our immune system to fight cancer cells. The process begins with a protein called PD 1 ( Programmed death 1), that normally inhibits T lymphocytes ( the fighter cells in the body). Tumors tend to evade death by expressing a deactivating PD L1 ( Programmed Death Ligand 1), that deactivates T cells by binding to PD 1 on T cell surface.
Immunotherapy treatment targets either PD 1 or PD L1 that blocks the tumor from suppressing the T cells, hence allowing body’s own fighter T cells to kill the cancer cells.
The four main drugs used as immunotherapy are
- NIVOLUMAB ( OPDIVO)
- PEMBROLIZUMAB ( KEYTRUDA )
- ATEZOLIZUMAB (TECENTRIQ)
- DURVALUMAB (IMFINZI)
The first two mentioned target PD 1 and the other two target the PDL 1
These treatments can add more months and years in a lung cancer patients life . and are now considered the first line of treatment for metastatic lung cancers. studies are ongoing to add immunotherapy in earlier stages to maximize the patient’s benefit.
We are one of the pioneers in delivering all types of immunotherapeutic drugs.