Durvalumab for advanced, EGFR/ALK wild-type, high PD-L1 expression, non-small cell lung cancer- first line

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Therapeutic Areas: Lung and Respiratory Cancer
Year: 2020

Durvalumab is in development for patients with advanced/metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who are EGFR/ALK wild-type and whose tumours have a high PD-L1 expression. NSCLC makes up the majority of lung cancers in the UK. Advanced/metastatic (Stage IV) NSCLC is when the cancer has spread beyond the lung which was initially affected, most often to the liver, the adrenal glands, the bones and the brain. Most patients with NSCLC are diagnosed at the advanced/metastatic stage where curative treatment with surgery is unsuitable. Currently, chemotherapy remains the first line treatment option but this is often not well tolerated by many patients.
Durvalumab is given by intravenous infusion into the vein. Durvalumab works by blocking an immune protein called programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1). Normally, the immune system recognises and kills cancer cells. However, cancer cells can develop PD-L1 on their surface, allowing the cancer cells to avoid recognition by the immune system. By blocking PD-L1, durvalumab allows the immune system to recognise and target the cancer cells. If licenced, durvalumab may offer an additional treatment