“This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the treatment of cancer,” commented Clifford A. Hudis, MD, President-Elect of ASCO and moderator of the press briefing. “These studies focus on our ability to productively manipulate the immune system by targeting PD-L1 and PD-1, which allows the body’s natural immunity to ramp up and target cancer.”
Dr. Hudis noted that while phase I studies historically evaluate safety only, the phase I data for MPDL3280A already show evidence of efficacy, with responses lasting more than 1 year in heavily pretreated patients. “The clearest indications of activity were in non–small cell lung cancer and melanoma, and in tumors testing positive for the marker, suggesting that maybe in the future we can develop a biomarker that identifies tumors that will be more responsive to this approach,” he suggested. ■
Disclosure: Dr. Hudis reported no potential conflicts of interest.