New immunotherapy approved by the FDA

Late yesterday, the FDA announced that atezolizumab (Tecentriq) was approved for treatment of patients with lung cancer who have disease progression during or after chemo or a targeted therapy. This immunotherapy works a bit differently than other drugs and targets PD-L1. This is exciting news as it offers patients another option to treat lung cancer!

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  • @FtB_Mary Thats really great that they have something new to help people i'm really happy about it. Theres so many it might help. Things are looking up. @Jo Taylor

  • But it's not really any different from Keytruda or Opdivo, correct? Those have all been shown to be significantly more effective with people having high PD-1, and in fact, that's part and parcel for using Keytruda, isn't it?

  • That's a great question! Tecentriq is a PD-L1 inhibitor, and Keytruda and Opdivo are PD-1 inhibitors. So these drugs differ in how they work, but we need more studies to see how they compare in terms of improving survival in patients. And yes, Keytruda is approved in patients with NSCLC whose tumors express PD-L1. Keytruda seems to work best in patients with high levels of PD-L1. As of right now, PD-L1 testing is not required for Tecentriq or Opdivo based on the FDA approved labeling. A large study showed that Tecentriq improved survival (vs chemo) regardless of levels of PD-L1. Hopefully, studies of PD-L1 (and other biomarkers) will help us understand which tests might predict which patients are most likely to benefit from these immunotherapies.

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