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Durvalumab: a potential maintenance therapy in surgery-ineligible non-small-cell lung cancer

Authors Shafique MR, Robinson LA, Antonia S

Received 10 February 2018

Accepted for publication 4 April 2018

Published 1 May 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 931—940


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Harikrishna Nakshatri

Michael R Shafique, Lary A Robinson, Scott Antonia

Department of Thoracic Oncology, H Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA

Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide and the most common cause of cancer-related death. Non-small-cell lung cancer comprises ~87% of newly diagnosed cases of lung cancer, and nearly one-third of these patients have stage III disease. Despite improvements in the treatment of stage IV lung cancer, particularly with the introduction and dissemination of checkpoint inhibitors, very little progress has been made in the treatment of stage III lung cancer. In this article, we discuss the general staging criteria and treatment options for stage III lung cancer. We review how concurrent radiation and chemotherapy can have immunomodulatory effects, supporting the rationale for incorporating immunotherapy into existing treatment paradigms. Finally, we discuss the results of the PACIFIC trial and implications for the treatment of stage III lung cancer. In the PACIFIC trial, adding durvalumab as a maintenance therapy following the completion of chemoradiotherapy improved progression-free survival in patients with locally advanced unresectable stage III lung cancer. On the strength of these results, durvalumab has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in this setting, representing the first advance in the treatment of stage III lung cancer in nearly a decade.

Keywords: non-small-cell lung cancer, maintenance therapy, staging, immunotherapy, chemoradiation, surgery-ineligible, durvalumab

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