Hi everyone i got diagnosed with lung cancer in my broncial tube nearly a year ago. I'm being treated with immunotherapy i have a year left of treatment my doctors just told me. Why because the government have a deal with the pharmaceutical company for a 2yr period but its working ok for me then it just stops this can't seem right. P.S. i was given 2yrs to live a yr ago is this why i was given this time limit.???
Cancer in broncial tube: Hi everyone i... - Lung Cancer Support
Lung Cancer Support
I’m not sure I understand your question. I am sure your health coverage (UK) is very different from mine (private insurance through employer in USA). Immunotherapy is my second line of treatment. When I reached the two year mark of receiving immunotherapy in January, my oncologist and I discussed whether or not I should continue to be treated or not. Among other actions, I reached out to GO2 Foundation to get more information to inform my decision. They directed me to a couple studies, but there isn’t anything exactly to say whether stable stage IV lung cancer must continue to be treated to remain stable. The territory is just very new. However, the outcomes for those treated indefinitely were slightly better than those who had only received one year of immunotherapy. My doctor and I decided that I will continue treatment past my two year mark. I don’t know if this is helpful to you or not. I had the choice (not made by insurance), and I chose to continue treatment. As for the “two years to live,” I try not to look at statistics much if at all. My oncologist never suggested a time frame for me, but I did know that the five-year survival rate for NSCLC patients when I was diagnosed was less than fewer than 1 in 5 patients. That was in 2015–before immunotherapy had been approved for lung cancer. The statistics usually lag quite a few years, too. You are not “just” a number, and your body will respond with some degree of uniqueness to your treatments.
I do hope that, when two years of treatment have passed, you will have a voice in what medical treatment you may continue.
One reason they end immune checkpoint inhibitor treatment at the two year mark is that they believe the immune system has been retrained and can identify a cancer cell that emits the PDL1 protein.
Good that your immunotherapy is working but sorry to read you clear anxiety about the treatment timeline. The timeline isn't about the deal with the government/NHS/NICE per se but that the evidence is that the body's own immune system is able to continue working beyond that. Many anticancer treatments are not a continuous treatment for evermore but a limited series of interventions. I found the book 'anticancer a new way of life' by Dr Servan Schreiber also helped explain to me the many different lifestyle aspects we can change to balance our overall health after cancer so this may also help. When I was diagnosed in January 2011 immunotherapy wasn't even an option for lung cancer but has helped thousands in recent years. Not everyone is clinically eligible and the pandemic actually opened up immunotherapy as a treatment to many who ordinarily would have had chemotherapy but in a bid to reduce exposure hospital time with chemotherapy and potential exposure to covid, many were given this. The clinical trial results and study results continue to show promise for different immunotherapy agents and different specific types of lung cancer so never give up. You may find this recent publication from Roy Castle lung cancer foundation helps answer other questions you may have.... good luck. roycastle.org/app/uploads/2...
I see you've already received several responses so I keep mine as brief as possible ... Several months ago, I concluded a two year regimen of Keytruda (an immunotherapy drug) ... As my oncologist explained to me, the two year thing is primarily due to how the drug impacts ones body ... It actually alters genes in the T-cells to allow the T-cells to fight the cancer, ie: allows the T-cells to ignore the cancer's "deception" mechanism and attack the cancer .. Even though one stops the the immunotherapy infusions, because of those gene changes in ones body, the drug actually continues to work for a long period of time .. Your regular CATscans are probably show positive results thus you are continuing to receive the treatment