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Spotlight on pembrolizumab in non-small cell lung cancer: the evidence to date

Authors Vachhani P, Chen H

Received 12 May 2016

Accepted for publication 2 August 2016

Published 23 September 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 5855—5866


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr William Cho

Pankit Vachhani, Hongbin Chen

Department of Medicine, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA

Abstract: Immunotherapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors has opened a new arena in cancer therapeutics. Pembrolizumab is a highly selective anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) antibody that has shown efficacy, leading to survival benefit and durable responses, in some patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). It has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients with metastatic NSCLC, whose tumors express PD-1 ligand 1 (PD-L1), with disease progression on or after platinum-containing chemotherapy. Here, we briefly discuss the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway and pembrolizumab before delving into the clinical trials that have led to its just-mentioned approval in NSCLC and ongoing clinical trials. Finally, we discuss the use of biomarkers, primarily PD-L1, in the context of pembrolizumab and NSCLC.

Keywords: pembrolizumab, KEYNOTE, non-small cell lung cancer

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