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Update on targeted therapies for advanced non-small cell lung cancer: nivolumab in context

Authors Le AD, Alzghari SK, Jean GW, La-Beck NM

Received 18 November 2016

Accepted for publication 23 January 2017

Published 21 February 2017 Volume 2017:13 Pages 223—236


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Garry Walsh

Alexander D Le,1,* Saeed K Alzghari,2,* Gary W Jean,2 Ninh M La-Beck1

1Department of Immunotherapeutics and Biotechnology, School of Pharmacy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Abilene, 2Department of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Dallas, TX, USA

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: While the initial treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) usually relies on surgical resection followed by systemic cytotoxic chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, recent advances in understanding of NSCLC biology and immunology have spurred the development of numerous targeted therapies. In particular, a class of immune modulatory drugs targeting the immune checkpoint pathways has demonstrated remarkable durable remissions in a select minority of advanced NSCLC patients, potentially heralding the elusive “cancer cure”. This review focuses on the clinical evidence for one of these agents, nivolumab, and clarifies the role of this drug in the context of the other targeted therapies currently available for the treatment of NSCLC. We also discuss the impact of nivolumab on patient quality of life and health economics.

Keywords: nivolumab, lung cancer, immune checkpoint, targeted therapy

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