Atezolizumab in addition to Carboplatin or Cisplatin and Pemetrexed for Stage IV non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

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Therapeutic Areas: Lung and Respiratory Cancer
Year: 2018

Lung cancer arises from cells in the lungs that have grown abnormally and multiplied to form a tumour. Non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a type of lung cancer that is differentiated from small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) by the way the tumour cells look under a microscope. Symptoms include a persistent cough, hoarseness, shortness of breath, weight-loss or lack of appetite, feeling weak or tired, coughing up blood and pneumonia/or infections that keep coming back. Stage IV non-squamous NSCLC is the most advanced form of the disease where the cancer has spread beyond the lungs into other areas of the body. The aim of treatment at this stage is to prolong survival, improve quality of life, and control disease-related symptoms.
Atezolizumab is a monoclonal antibody designed to recognise and attach to a protein called ‘programmed death-ligand 1’ (PD-L1), which is present on the surface of many cancer cells. PD-L1 switches off immune cells that would otherwise attack cancer cells. By attaching to PD-L1 and reducing its effect, atezolizumab increases the ability of the immune system to attack cancer cells and thereby slows the progression of the disease. Atezolizumab is administered by intravenous infusion. If licensed, atezolizumab in addition to the chemotherapy drugs, carboplatin or cisplatin and pemetrexed will offer an additional treatment option for patients with advanced, non-squamous NSCLC.