Lung cancer and immunotherapy: a real-life experience from second-line and beyond

Fady El Karak 1Fady Gh Haddad 1Roland Eid 1Maya Al Ghor 1Elie El Rassy 1Nizar Ahmadieh 2Theresia Choullamy 2Nour A Halim 3Arafat Tfayli 3Fadi Farhat 1Joseph Kattan 1Fady Nasr 1Marwan Ghosn 1Hazem I Assi 2


1Hematology-Oncology Department, Hotel-Dieu de France University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon.

2Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon.

3Department of Internal Medicine, Hematology & Oncology Division, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon.

PMID: 31424958

DOI: 10.2217/fon-2019-0144


Aim: This study assessed the efficacy of anti-PD-1/PD-L1 agents in real life when used in second line or beyond. 

Materials & methods: Patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer progressing after standard chemotherapy and receiving immunotherapy in the second line or beyond were included. 

Results: One hundred and ten patients were included with PD-L1 expression above 50%, between 1-49 and <1% in 38.6, 27.3 and 34.1% of patients, respectively. Checkpoint inhibitors were used as second, third and fourth line in 74.7, 21.8 and 3.5%, respectively. Partial response was observed in 25.6% of patients. Median progression-free survival was 4 months and median overall survival was 8.1 months. 

Conclusion: Immunotherapies are emerging as important tools in the oncologic field with good responses in real-life practice.

Keywords: checkpoint inhibitors; experience; immunotherapy; lung cancer; non-small-cell lung cancer; real life; real-world; second line.