“With lung cancer we’re treating more patients effectively today and even curing them because we’re using our most effective therapies earlier.”
At the 2023 Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology, Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, delivered the presentation “Optimizing Resectable NSCLC Outcomes in Patients With Actionable Mutations.” This presentation took place during the session on Transforming Care in Early-Stage Lung Cancer.
PW spoke with Dr. Herbst to learn more about his presentation.
PW: What is new in the way patients with lung cancer are being treated?
Dr. Herbst: Today, lung cancer is a disease where we’re treating more patients effectively and even curing them because we’re using our most effective therapies earlier. At the ESMO symposium, we discussed how adjuvant therapy combined with EGFR inhibitors can be used in certain settings. Also, in some patients, neoadjuvant therapy with immunotherapy proved effective. The important thing now for physicians, caregivers, and patients is that cases can be discussed within a multimodality tumor board setting, so that clinicians can offer the best and most effective therapy for patients.
PW: What are some of the new developments in surgery for resectable NSCLC in patients with actionable mutations?
Dr. Herbst: Today, we know that with actionable mutations, if you have an EGFR mutation and an ALK mutation, adjuvant therapy is available either with osimertinib or with alectinib. We can also offer adjuvant therapies with targeted therapies for these patients.
PW: What areas of your research still need to be explored?
Dr. Herbst: We still need to research resistance to therapy. There are cases in which patients do not respond initially to immunotherapy treatment. For some patients, even when they do respond, they become resistant to treatment, so we need to understand what the next steps in therapies should be for them.
PW: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Dr. Herbst: It is critical to screen patients for mutations at the time of their surgery. In addition, there are neoadjuvant approaches with immunotherapy and chemotherapy that are incredibly compelling.