For Laura Q.M. Chow, MD, medical oncologist at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and professor of medicine in the division of medical oncology at the University of Washington, there is still much to be done to improve the quality of life and survival of patients with lung cancer until it is eradicated — starting with identification of better biomarkers to personalize therapy and development of novel therapies to improve response and survival in clinical trials. Healio recently spoke with Chow about what may be in store for lung cancer treatment and the research surrounding it.As a professor at the University of Washington treating patients with thoracic and head and neck malignancies, associate director of the phase 1 clinical trials program at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in Washington, and associate member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Chow has dedicated her career to trying to develop better lung cancer treatments.
Healio spoke with Karen L. Reckamp, MD, MS, medical director of clinical research operations, co-director of the thoracic oncology program, and professor in the department of medical oncology at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte, California, about her research in immunotherapy treatments for non-small cell lung cancer…
The programmed death-1 receptor and its programmed death ligand-1 are key components of an immune checkpoint that has now been successfully targeted in several malignancies. Antibodies directed against PD-1 (pembrolizumab and nivolumab) as well as PD-L1 (atezolizumab and durvalumab) are now approved in a number of malignancies, including non-small cell lung cancer. Of these, only pembrolizumab treatment is contingent upon verification of PD-L1 expression.
Excluding skin cancer, lung cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States, after prostate cancer and breast cancer, respectively.1
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common form of lung cancer, accounting for approximately 85% of new cases of lung cancer diagnosed each year in the United States. Small cell lung cancer accounts for about 10% to 15%, and fewer than 5% of lung cancers are attributed to lung carcinoid tumors.2
An estimated 234,030 new cases of lung cancer will be reported in 2018.11
An estimated 154,050 people (83,550 men and 70,500 women) are expected to die from lung cancer in 2018, making it the leading cause of cancer death in men and women nationwide.1
Since 1990, the death rate from lung cancer has declined by 43% in men. Since 2002, the death rate has declined by 17% in women. These declining rates are attributed to reductions in smoking.3
The average age of patients at diagnosis is 70 years. Lung cancer is diagnosed in only a small number of people who are younger than age 45 years.1
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Winter Lung Cancer Conference
January 25 - 27, 2019
Lung Cancer Targeted Therapies Meeting
February 20 - 23, 2019
Santa Monica, Calif.
NCCN Annual Conference: Improving the Quality, Effectiveness, and Efficiency of Cancer Care
March 21 - 23, 2019
ASCO Annual Meeting
May 31, 2019 - June 4, 2019
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