Immunotherapy and targeted therapies are standard of care in oncology

Jean-François Baurain, François Duhoux, Astrid De Cuyper, Frank Cornélis, Jean-Pascal Machiels, Thierry Pieters Published in the journal : February 2018 Category : Oncologie

Summary :

2017 was again a great year for oncologists, as the efficacy of new promising drugs and treatment modalities could be confirmed, thus improving the prognosis of our patients. Since we cannot describe all highlights here, we decided to focus on some major advances. Immunotherapy with anti-PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies has become a standard of care in many metastatic patients, with a long-term survival benefit reported for some of them (yet it is too early to talk about cure). However, the administration of these antibodies is associated with a very specific auto-immune toxicity that may have serious or even fatal consequences if not recognized and treated early. Moreover, the range of available targeted therapies is continuously growing, with the advent of new therapeutic classes, such as the CDK 4/6 and PARP inhibitors. Thanks to our better understanding of the mechanisms underlying resistance to targeted therapies, news drugs have been developed (e.g. osimertinib) and have proved able to overcome the resistance observed with the first-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors in lung cancer. There is also a trend toward decreasing the aggressiveness of chemotherapeutic regimens. All these treatments are available at the King Albert II Cancer Institute, along with new treatments that are currently being investigated and might become the standard of care of tomorrow.

Key words

Immunotherapy, targeted therapies, chemotherapy