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Advances in ES-SCLC Chemotherapy Treatment

Recent clinical trials involving combined chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatment to resolve advanced lung cancer have proven their efficacy. The two trials that propelled the use of immunotherapy as a preferred treatment method include the phase 3 IMpower133 and CASPIAN trials, according to Dr. Rubin, co-director of the Druckenmiller Center for Lung Cancer Research.

In the IMpower 133 trial, a sample of patients was treated with atezolizumab, platinum, and etoposide; and another sample was treated with only platinum and etoposide. Atezolizumab is a type of immunotherapy drug.

The outcomes of the trial showed that the risk of death reduced by 30 percent for patients whose treatment included Atezolizumab medicine as well as higher survival rates past 12 and 18 months of 51.9 and 34 percent respectively, compared with only 39 and 21 percent respectively for those whose treatment did not include the immunotherapy drug. It was data from this trial that was used as a basis for approval of the drug combination for treatment in extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC) by the FDA.

In the CASPIAN trial, a sample of patients was treated with an immunotherapy drug, durvalumab, platinum, etoposide; and another sample was treated with only platinum and etoposide. The results of the trial, in this case, indicated that the risk of death reduced by 27 percent for patients whose treatment included durvalumab drug and also higher survival rates past 12, 18, and 24 months of 52.8, 39.3, and 32 percent, respectively, compared with only 24.8, 22.2 and 14.4 percent respectively for those whose treatment did not include the durvalumab. The FDA also permittedusing the durvalumab, platinum, and etoposide chemoimmunotherapy treatment in ES-SCLC management and treatment in 2020.

The two trials have contributed to significant gains in ES-SCLC treatment, and further research into the methods used promises to widen the population that can benefit from chemo immunotherapy.

 

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