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How are checkpoint inhibitors used to treat lung cancer?

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Part of your immune system’s job is not to attack normal cells in the body. To do this it uses so-called “checkpoints,” molecules that must be turned on or off to trigger an immune response. Cancer cells sometimes use these checkpoints to avoid being targeted by your immune system.

But four new drugs -- atezolizumab (Tecentriq), durvalumab (Imfinzi), nivolumab (Opdivo) and pembrolizumab (Keytruda) -- target these checkpoints and basically take the brakes off your immune system so that it can mount a better attack.

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: “Key statistics for lung cancer,” “Can non-small cell lung cancer be found early?” “What’s new in non-small cell lung cancer research?” “Targeted therapy drugs for non-small cell lung cancer.”

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: “Lung Cancer Screening.” Cancer Research Institute: “Lung Cancer.” Lung Cancer Alliance: “New Directions in Lung Cancer.”



Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on May 20, 2018

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: “Key statistics for lung cancer,” “Can non-small cell lung cancer be found early?” “What’s new in non-small cell lung cancer research?” “Targeted therapy drugs for non-small cell lung cancer.”

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: “Lung Cancer Screening.” Cancer Research Institute: “Lung Cancer.” Lung Cancer Alliance: “New Directions in Lung Cancer.”



Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on May 20, 2018

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