The approval of atezolizumab for
small cell lung cancer is a monumental milestone. It has been decades since
we’ve seen a drug improve survival in this highly lethal disease. The combination of atezolizumab with chemotherapy led to an improvement in overall survival,
something that over forty phase three trials have failed to do the past
several decades. Atezolizumab is a form of
immunotherapy. It is currently FDA approved for many different types of
cancer. It engages our immune system and treats our immune system so our immune system can treat the cancer. In small cell lung cancer, it is combined with chemotherapy. It really is the combination of chemotherapy and
immunotherapy that has improved outcomes.