Squamous Cell Carcinoma Is There Hope?
Description: Paul K. Paik, MD of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center discusses that there is short-term and long-term hope for squamous cell carcinoma. In this presentation, he pointed out two things that might give hope to this disease. For those who began treating patients in the 80s and 90s, they’ve seen slow progress in terms of advancement in this field, and only in 2004 that the target therapy was developed.
Now, there is a shift in the way squamous cell lung cancer is being conceptualized. A decade ago, trials were histology-specific because of the thought that the biology of squamous cell lung cancer is different from the lung adenocarcinoma. The development of immunotherapy gives a short-term hope for the disease and has seen a collapse of the notion - the idea that all patients with non-small cell lung cancer, irrespective of histology and the immune system is operant, irrespective of histology. Hence, this therapy benefits not only squamous cell patients, but lung adenocarcinoma patients as well.
There is a light of hope in this area, practitioners need to drill down, find better combinations and identify patients with squamous lung cancer who are resistant to this therapy or those who are sensitive.
The second hope is on the target therapy development. For over five years, major efforts have been done in order to use this approach to find biological alterations unique in the disease and target them with specific agents. There are still other ideas on how to find a true targeted therapy for the disease management. At the end of the day, immunotherapy has only introduced one additional option for patients. However, there are patients who are ineligible or after progression, they don’t have many options left. So, finding additional therapies to broaden the poll of options for patients is the long-term hope for this disease.