Cemiplimab in combination with chemotherapy is in clinical development for the treatment of advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). NSCLC makes up the majority of lung cancers in the UK and at the metastatic stage (stage IV), the disease has already spread from the lungs to other sites. Symptoms of lung cancer include a persistent cough, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, aches and pains in the chest or shoulder, loss of appetite, weight loss and fatigue. Most patients with NSCLC are diagnosed at the advanced/metastatic stage where curative treatment with surgery is unsuitable. Advanced NSCLC is not usually curable; there is therefore the need for additional treatment options.
Cemiplimab is a type of protein called an antibody, which can bind to PD-1 ( a protein found on immune cells) and prevent it interacting with PD-L1 ( a protein, often found on tumour cells, that can bind to PD-1). Therefore, it allows the T-cells (a type of white blood cells) to attack the cancer cells. Cemiplimab is administered by intravenous infusion. If licenced, cemiplimab in combination with chemotherapy, would offer an additional treatment option for patients with advanced NSCLC regardless of PD-L1 status.