Rogerio Lilenbaum, MD, discussed the ways in which immunotherapy and targeted therapy have changed the study of lung cancer. At the 17th Annual Winter Lung Conference, Lilenbaum described how immunotherapy has improved quality of life for patients, while also allowing them to live longer.
I think immunotherapy has revolutionized the way we think about lung cancer and other solid tumors and other hematologic malignancies. Immunotherapy has changed the face of this disease and has allowed patients to live not only much longer than they used to live on more traditional treatments, but they also live a better life.
Immunotherapy has fulfilled its promise to prolong life and maintain and improve quality of life. A pursuit, by the way, that is decades old, and finally came through in the past 5 years. It’s really an incredible revolution. It’s akin to what happened in the early 2000s when the molecular aberrations were discovered, and targeted agents came into the market and again changed the face of this disease.
The difference between targeted therapy and immunotherapy is that you can use immunotherapy in a much larger percentage of patients. Targeted therapy remains somewhat limited to a percentage of patients who have the markers.