Rationale of an economically driven PD1 biomarker development in lung cancer - an academic dilemma
Immunotherapies for second line use in lung cancer have proven to add relevant value compared to standard treatment options; indeed, they are deemed a breakthrough in cancer treatment. The “clinical value” of a certain drug is determined by its effects on relevant endpoints, namely overall survival, tolerability, and quality of life. From a historical perspective, at least two of these three endpoints should be achieved to accept a new treatment option to be beneficial. Monoclonal antibodies targeting the PD1 and PD-L1 receptors have achieved these endpoints. Due to their mode of action the presence of these targets should—per definition—be prerequisite for their clinical application. However, the short history of “targeted therapies” has told us to be cautious and that simplified explanations of potential drug effects were sometimes misleading.