Immune checkpoint inhibitors for advanced non-small cell lung cancer: emerging sequencing for new treatment targets

Pedro Nazareth Aguiar, Ramon Andrade De Mello, Carmelia Maria Noia Barreto, Luke Alastair Perry, Jahan Penny-Dimri, Hakaru Tadokoro, Gilberto De Lima Lopes

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the world. Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) stimulate cytotoxic lymphocyte activity against tumour cells. These agents are available for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after failure of platinum-based therapy. One recent study has demonstrated that ICI monotherapy was superior to platinum-based chemotherapy for first-line treatment. Nevertheless, this benefit was only for a minority of the population (30%) whose tumour programmed death receptor ligand-1 (PD-L1) expression was above 50%. Therefore, several strategies are under investigation. One option for patients with PD-L1 expression lower than 50% may be the combination of ICI with platinum-based chemotherapy or with ICIs against different targets. However, all of these combinations are at an early stage of investigation and may be very expensive or toxic, producing several harmful adverse events.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000200
Number of pages11
JournalESMO Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • atezolizumab
  • immunotherapy
  • nivolumab
  • non-small cell lung cancer
  • pembrolizumab

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