Immunotherapy has revolutionized cancer care, particularly for lung cancer patients. On Thursday, June 14, 2018, at 8 PM Eastern time (5 PM Pacific), #LCSM Chat moderator Brendon Stiles (@BrendonStilesMD) will lead our discussion on “Immunotherapy–the ultimate personalized therapy.”
Over the last few years, several “checkpoint inhibitors” have been approved by the FDA for lung cancer patients. Because these drugs essentially unleash brakes on T cells which allow each patient’s own immune system to kill their cancer cells, these drugs could be considered the ultimate personalized therapy for cancer. In fact, these drugs are now a part of first line therapy for almost all stage IV lung cancer patients without targetable mutations and are rapidly moving into earlier stages as well.
Many of these drugs have less side effects than standard chemotherapy and are better tolerated by patients. Early trials have suggested a “plateau in the survival curves” generating hope that these drugs may actually cure some patients rather than just pushing back their inevitable deaths. Of course, with any new drugs, it is sometimes difficult to separate the hype from the hope. In general, only about 20-30% of patients respond to immunotherapy drugs. Although the amount of PD-L1 in tumors and “tumor mutation burden” have been shown to predict response to checkpoint inhibitors, it still remains difficult to accurately predict which patients will most benefit from immunotherapy.
In this chat, we will discuss the basics of immunotherapy, where immunotherapy fits into the current standards of treatment for lung cancer, and special concerns related to the use of these drugs.
With these thoughts in mind, this chat will cover the following topics:
- T1. How does immunotherapy work and what are the side effects?
- T2. Which patients should be considered for immunotherapy and are the drugs different?
- T3. Is there a role for immunotherapy in patients with activating mutations (EGFR, ALK, ROS1)?
- T4. Is there a role for immunotherapy in patients with stage I-III lung cancer?
- T5. What do patients want to know about immunotherapy?
Please remember to include #LCSM in ALL your tweets so the other chat participants can see them. If you need a refresher, read our primer on participating in the chat . Note that some tweetchat apps (like tchat.io) will not display tweets longer than 140 characters. Hope you’ll join us!
For the upcoming #LCSM chat on Thursday, 5/31 at 8 PM Eastern (5 PM Pacific), we’re going to preview some of the key abstracts in lung cancer and mesothelioma that will be presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago in early June. This meeting brings together over 38,000 cancer specialists every year to review thousands of presentations. Nobody can see it all, and one important aspect of not being overwhelmed is knowing what should be the focus of your attention.
Dr. Jack West has compiled two lists of abstracts he believes will reveal important findings for the thoracic oncology community. We’ll be discussing these and any other abstracts you might find interesting. Alas, ASCO begins June 1, so many thoracic oncology professionals, advocates, and patients will be en route to the conference at the time of the chat. If you won’t be able to join the chat and have an abstract you think should be discussed, please tweet it to @lcsmchat sometime before the chat so we can include it.
This won’t be the usual #LCSM Chat question and answer format. Instead, we’ll post an abstract and spend a few minutes discussing it before moving onto the next abstract.
Here are two lists of top lung cancer and mesothelioma abstracts at ASCO 2018 that will get us started:
My Top 5 ASCO 2018 Abstracts in Stage I-III NSCLC, Small Cell Lung Cancer, & Mesothelioma (OncologyTube video) by Jack West
My Top 5 ASCO 2018 Abstracts in Advanced NSCLC (OncologyTube video) by Jack West
Please remember to include #LCSM in ALL your tweets so the other chat participants can see them. If you need a refresher, read our primer on participating in the chat . Hope you’ll join us!
On Thursday May 17, 2018, at 8 PM Eastern Daylight Time (5 PM Pacific Daylight Time), #LCSM Chat will hold an Open Mic Nite to talk about whatever lung cancer topics are foremost on our minds. Our moderator will be Janet Freeman-Daily (@JFreemanDaily). This would be a particularly good chat for those who are just starting with Twitter or tweet chats (please check out our tweetchat primer). Hope you’ll join us!