Pembrolizumab in combination with olaparib as maintenance therapy for non-small-cell lung cancer following first line treatment

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Therapeutic Areas: Lung and Respiratory Cancer
Year: 2021

Pembrolizumab in combination with olaparib is currently in development as a maintenance treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in those that have not progressed following first line treatment. NSCLC makes up the majority of lung cancers in the UK and most patients are diagnosed at the advanced/metastatic stage where curative treatment with surgery is unsuitable. There are currently a number of first-line treatment options to control the advanced/metastatic disease, but there are limited maintenance treatment options to reduce the risk of progression.
Pembrolizumab delivered via intravenous infusion is a type of immunotherapy that stimulates the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells. Olaparib is administered orally in tablet form and can lead to cancer cell death by blocking DNA repair by the PARP enzyme. Pembrolizumab is currently recommended as a first line treatment of NSCLC and evidence suggests that the addition of olaparib may improve its effectiveness. If licensed, pembrolizumab in combination with olaparib will offer an additional maintenance treatment for patients with advanced NSCLC.