A new kind of drug that activates the immune system could help improve the odds of survival for those with the most common kind of lung cancer, when used with with the usual chemotherapy, according to a new study. Cancer experts say patients with this kind of lung cancer should now get this new treatment, immunotherapy, as soon as possible after being diagnosed.
Findings were presented at the American Associations of Cancer Research’s annual meeting showing a combo of chemo and an immunotherapy drug was able to help lung cancer patients live longer compared to traditional chemo alone. And this research is changing the standard for lung cancer treatment.
“I’ve been treating lung cancer for 25 years now, and I’ve never seen such a big paradigm shift as we’re seeing with immunotherapy,” said Dr. Roy Herbst, Chief of Medical Oncology at the Yale Cancer Center. “If you want to see long-term survival, you’ve got to give immunotherapy as soon as possible. Chemotherapy has limitations. Immunotherapy has the ability to cure.”