YOKOHAMA, Japan, Oct. 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The final press conference from the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) 18th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) highlighted new advancements surrounding the discovery of PD-1 and PD-L1, including a discussion from the researcher credited with discovering PD-1, as well as interventions to prevent lung cancer and improve quality of life for lung cancer patients.
Innovations in lung cancer treatment linked to the discovery of PD-1
Prof. Tasuku Honjo of Japan, who was the first to identify PD-1 in 1992, shared an update on how PD-1 blockers have been widely used to treat many types of cancers. After decades of study, research into PD-1 has led to breakthrough immunotherapy treatments that are being hailed as a “penicillin moment” in cancer treatment.
“I believe that, just as a number of antibiotics developed in the wake of the discovery of penicillin now protect humans against threats of infectious diseases, this discovery will play a leading role in advancement of cancer immunotherapy,” said Prof. Honjo. “In the future, the fear of dying from cancer will cease to exist.”
Extensive research into combination therapy has been undertaken by a number of institutions. Specifically, Prof. Honjo felt that PD-1 blockade combinatorial therapy using mitochondrial activators, especially PGC-1α activators, may be promising.
International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Blueprint II
Dr. Fred Hirsch of the United States and Dr. Ming Tsao of Canada shared an exciting update on Phase 2 of the PD-L1 Blueprint Project.
The project began in 2014 during a workshop led by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). As a result of the workshop, the PD-L1 Blueprint Project was established, with the primary goal of comparing the PD-L1 assays used in clinical trials in terms of analytical and diagnostic performance. The consortium behind the Blueprint Project included representatives from Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), Merck, Genentech/Roche, AstraZeneca, Dako, Ventana and AACR, as well as the IASLC, which is coordinating the project.
“In the new era of immunotherapy in thoracic cancer, evaluating PD-L1 status remains a clinical challenge,” said Dr. Hirsch. “The major strength of the PD-L1 Blueprint Project is the unique partnership among the different pharmaceutical companies and diagnostic companies, with the IASLC as the coordinating organization.”
The Blueprint phase 1 comparability study demonstrated that three PD-L1 assays (28-8, 22C3, SP263) showed comparable analytical performance for assessment of PD-L1 expression on tumor cells, while the SP-142 PD-L1 assay appeared to stain a lower percentage of tumor cells compared to the other assays. In contrast, all assays stained tumor infiltrating immune cells, but with poor concordance between assays. The Blueprint phase 2 study involving routine clinical lung cancer samples and 25 pathologists largely affirms the blueprint 1 results, thus three of the PD-L1 assays, 22C3, 28-8 and SP263 are comparable for tumor cell staining. The results also showed that pathologists are strongly reliable in scoring the PD-L1 expression on tumor cells, and scoring by glass slides and digital images are comparable.
Community engagement interventions may reduce disparities in lung cancer outcomes among minorities
Community-based interventions implemented in minority community sites resulted in changes in participants’ knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about cancer, as well as perceived benefits and self-efficacy measures regarding lung cancer screening, as uncovered in research presented by Dr. Lovoria Williams of August University in the United States. These findings are critical to addressing the significant lung cancer survival rate disparities in racial and ethnic minorities and the medically underserved. Read the full press release here.
Exercise interventions in advanced lung cancer patients led to increased functionality, which may be linked to quality of life benefits
Physical exercise and psycho-social interventions in patients with advanced stage lung cancer improved functional capacity, which may be linked to quality of life benefits. The exercise group was found to have improved functional capacity at the conclusion of the intervention and reported a significant improvement in quality of life, which may be linked to the improved functionality, according to Dr. Morten Quist of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. To read the full press release, click here.
Livestreams of the daily press conferences are available here.
About the WCLC
The World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) is the world’s largest meeting dedicated to lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies, attracting over 6,000 researchers, physicians and specialists from more than 100 countries. The goal is to disseminate the latest scientific achievements; increase awareness, collaboration and understanding of lung cancer; and to help participants implement the latest developments across the globe. Organized under the theme of “Synergy to Conquer Lung Cancer,” the conference will cover a wide range of disciplines and unveil several research studies and clinical trial results. For more information, visit wclc2017.iaslc.org.
About the IASLC
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated to the study of lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. Founded in 1974, the association’s membership includes more than 6,500 lung cancer specialists across all disciplines in over 100 countries, forming a global network working together to conquer lung and thoracic cancers worldwide. The association also publishes the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, the primary educational and informational publication for topics relevant to the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of all thoracic malignancies. Visit www.iaslc.org for more information.
Becky Bunn, MSc
Public Relations Manager