Immune therapy treatments first were approved for treatment of melanoma. In fact, the FDA recently approved combination of two immunotherapy drugs as initial treatment of melanoma. Recently, these same immune therapies have been approved for other cancers in the “second line setting, ” which means that initial chemotherapy is not working any longer. First, immune therapies (nivolumab or pembrolizumab) were approved for non-small cell lung cancer. This past week, nivolumab was also approved for kidney cancer (renal cell cancer). In both lung cancer and kidney cancer, these therapies were compared to standard chemotherapy and shown to have longer responses and survival and overall less side effects. The side effects of these new drugs are very unique, so it is important that they be administered by experienced oncologists to monitor for immune toxicities.
Read more about Nivolumab in Renal-Cell Carcinoma here.
Read more about Nivolumab versus Docetaxel in Advanced Nonsquamous Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer here.