Immunotherapy generated landmark change in the treatment of lung cancer, but there are still some pressing issues and unanswered questions that need to be addressed, according to Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD, executive director at the Center for Thoracic Oncology in The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai (TCI) and the Joe Lowe and Louis Price Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Well immunotherapy is encouraging, but still we need a lot of work to improve the long-term effects. Even if we have very impressive, most recent 5-year survival data for monotherapy, and it might be even better with combination therapy, but what is the best combination? What is the sequencing of the combination? That is an area we need to work on in the future.
We need solid clinical trials. We need to be sure we get biopsies from the patients before and after treatment to learn about sensitive mechanisms and resistant mechanisms. As I mentioned before, it is also in the future, important, in that case, it would be liquid biopsies during treatment to see if we can monitor the changes over time.