AMSTERDAM— New hopes for smokers with lung cancer were raised at the 2013 European Cancer Congress here by research findings from France, Spain and the USA using a new form of immunotherapy to treat refractory disease. Professor Jean-Charles Soria MD, PhD, Director of the Site de Recherche Intégrée sur le Cancer (SIRIC) Socrate project at the Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France discussed results from a phase I study in heavily pre-treated patients with non-small cell lung cancer using the engineered monoclonal antibody MPDL3280A — which controls the programmed death ligand, PDL1 — as monotherapy for up to a year. Contrary to the findings of studies using most of the other targeted molecular therapies, PDL1 inhibition was found to bring selectively better objective responses rates among smokers than in never smokers. Professor Cora Sternberg MD, FACP, Chief of Medical Oncology at the San Camillo and Forlanini Hospitals in Rome, Italy, commented about the clinical implications.
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