Supportive care in the era of immunotherapies for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The therapeutic armamentarium for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer has evolved considerably over the past years. Immune checkpoint inhibitors targeting programmed cell death-1 such as pembrolizumab and nivolumab or programmed cell death ligand 1 such as atezolizumab, durvalumab and avelumab have shown favorable efficacy results in this patient population in the first-line and second-line setting. These immunotherapies are associated with a distinct toxicity profile based on autoimmune organ toxicity which is a new challenge for supportive care during treatment with these drugs.

Recent findings

The differential diagnosis of events occurring during immune checkpoint inhibitor treatment is broad: they can be due to immune-related or nonimmune-related adverse events, atypical tumor responses (pseudoprogression or hyperprogression) or events related to comorbidities or other treatments.

Summary

The management of these patients includes a thorough baseline clinical, biological and radiologic evaluation, patient education, correct follow-up and management by a multidisciplinary team with a central role for the medical oncologist. Immune-related toxicities should be managed according to available guidelines.

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