Authors: Solange Peters
At the 2015 European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC), held in Geneva, Switzerland (15–18th April 2015), much of the discussion centred around three major areas of interest in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC): immunotherapy, targeted therapies for molecularly defined subtypes, and how to deal with emerging resistance to those targeted therapies.
Immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors such as nivolumab continues to exceed all expectations in terms of overall survival. The first Phase III randomized trial data for nivolumab compared with docetaxel as a second-line therapy for squamous NSCLC demonstrated an improvement in overall survival of 3.2 months. The trial had been terminated early due to an assessment made by the independent monitoring committee, which concluded that it had met its survival improvement endpoint. The US FDA subsequently approved nivolumab based on these early results and these trial data were made publically available for the first time through FDA prescribing information . Subsequently, the EMA has recommended granting a marketing authorization in the EU as well .