Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer‐related deaths worldwide. The majority of NSCLC patients present with advanced stage disease. Lung cancer was once thought of as a low antigenicity cancer unlikely to benefit from immunotherapy, but has recently been found to have a high level of antigenicity. Moreover, a large body of research now exists to support both the safety and efficacy of immunotherapy in advanced stage NSCLC. The checkpoint inhibitors nivolumab, pembrolizumab, and atezolizumab are now approved by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration for second‐line treatment in advanced stage NSCLC. In addition to being efficacious, checkpoint inhibitors have a superior safety profile compared to previous standard of care, chemotherapy. Further trials are needed to investigate the checkpoint inhibitors’ role in combination treatment, first‐line treatment, and early stage disease.
Part of the book: Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Lung Cancer