Send to

Choose Destination
Pharmacotherapy. 2020 Jan 12. doi: 10.1002/phar.2364. [Epub ahead of print]

Optimizing Patient Outcomes with PD-1/PD-L1 Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors for the First-Line Treatment of Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Author information

Department of Immunotherapeutics and Biotechnology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy, Abilene, TX.
Department of Pharmacy Practice, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy, Abilene, TX.
Baylor Scott and White Medical Center, Waxahachie, TX.
Department of Pharmacotherapy, University of North Texas Health Science Center College of Pharmacy, Fort Worth, TX.
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, St. John's University, Queens, NY.


The rapidly expanding repertoire of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) now includes two agents, pembrolizumab and atezolizumab, approved for first-line treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (aNSCLC) as monotherapy or as part of combination chemo-immunotherapy. This review summarizes the clinical evidence supporting these indications, with a focus on strategies to optimize patient outcomes. These strategies include patient and tumor factors, adverse-effect profiles, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic drug interactions, and quality of life and cost-effectiveness considerations. We performed a systematic literature search of the PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases, as well as a search of the conference proceedings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, European Society for Medical Oncology, and American Association for Cancer Research (through August 31, 2019). The addition of ICIs to conventional chemotherapy as first-line treatment against aNSCLC is now part of the standard of care options. However, even though ICIs may be cost-effective in patients with aNSCLC, high drug and other associated costs can still be a barrier to treatment for patients. Moreover, the adverse-effect profiles of ICIs differ significantly from conventional chemotherapy, and some immune-related adverse effects may have a lasting impact on quality of life. Therefore, in adhering to a patient-centered model of care, clinicians should be mindful of patient- and treatment-specific factors when considering therapeutic options for patients with aNSCLC. Although the role of the immune system in cancer progression and regression has not been fully elucidated, it is likely that the full clinical potential of immunotherapeutics in the treatment of cancer remains to be unleashed.


Non-small cell lung cancer; PD-1; PD-L1; atezolizumab; immune checkpoint; immunotherapy; nivolumab; pembrolizumab; programmed cell death protein 1


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center