Why anti-PD1/PDL1 therapy is so effective? Another piece in the puzzle
Immune checkpoint inhibitors anti-programmed cell death 1 (PD-1)/programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) are currently changing the approach of treatment of non-small cell lung cancer patients (NSCLCs). During the last two years, the anti-PD-1 inhibitors, nivolumab (OPDIVO, Bristol-Myers Squibb) and pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA, Merck Sharp and Dohme Corporation) and the anti-PD-L1 inhibitor atezolizumab (TECENTRIQ, Genentech Oncology) have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the treatment of patients with advanced NSCLC with progression on or after first-line therapy. Indeed, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has endorsed Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab for the same indication. In recent times, pembrolizumab has also been recommended by both the U.S. and European agencies for the first-line therapy of NSCLCs with advanced disease. Furthermore, two other drugs as durvalumab (MEDI4736, AstraZeneca) and avelumab (MSB0010718C, Merck KGaA & Pfizer) are being examined for the treatment of NSCLC patients (1).