Rate This:8 Myths about Lung Cancer Immunotherapy Options
Immunotherapy is a type of treatment in which the body's immune system is stimulated or supplemented to attack and destroy cancerous cells. Keytruda, or pembrolizumab in its generic form, is an immunotherapy drug with FDA approval as an initial therapy for some types of lung cancer. Keytruda is just one form of lung cancer immunotherapy -- other options include nivolumab (sold under the brand Opdivo) and Atezolizumab (Tecentriq). If you or a loved one has either started or is about to undergo lung cancer treatment, then you might want to ask your doctor about possibilities regarding immunotherapy. Read on to debunk the top eight myths about immunotherapy drugs used for treating lung cancer patients.8 Active Questions | Add a Question
Patients and their doctors can choose from several different types of immunotherapy including bone marrow transplants, antibody therapies, cytokines, vaccines and T cell therapies.
Unfortunately, immunotherapy drugs aren't available for all kinds of cancers. Lung cancer is one of the conditions though with several FDA-approved immunotherapy treatment options.
Immunotherapy drugs can be used with other treatments, although doing so might change each drug's dosing requirements.
Before Keytruda, the FDA approved Opdivo, or nivolumab in its generic form, for the treatment of squamous non-small cell lung cancer. Like Keytruda, this medication works by blocking the PD-1 protein on cancer cells, allowing these cells to be detected by the body's immune system. However, Opdivo is not approved as a first-line treatment as Keytruda is.
Tecentriq, or atezolizumab, is designed to target the PD-L1 protein of cancer cells in people who've been diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer. It has been approved by the FDA for use in patients who didn't gain satisfactory results through chemotherapy.
Immunotherapy drugs are newer when compared to other cancer-fighting drugs, but this treatment has been around for years. In addition, the concepts of immunotherapy have been around ford decades.
Keytruda is approved by the FDA for use with patients who've been diagnosed with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have yet to undergo chemotherapy. This allows patients more freedom when deciding upon their preferred treatment options.
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