Immunotherapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Immunotherapy works with the body’s immune system to find, attack, and kill cancer cells. These drugs can work in different ways. Some boost the immune system, so it can fight cancer better. Other immunotherapy drugs help the immune system better recognize cancer cells. 

These are the latest immunotherapy drugs approved to treat lung cancer. They are known as checkpoint inhibitors and are given by IV (through a vein). New treatments become available all the time, so this may not be a complete list. 

Please note: The side effects listed here do not represent a comprehensive list. It's important to discuss all potential side effects of a drug with your healthcare team. Be sure to tell your healthcare team about any side effects you do have.

Search by Drug Name

IV (through a vein) =      Pill =

Treatment Type

Checkpoint Inhibitors

Drug Names
Imfinzi® (durvalumab) (IV)
Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) (IV)
Libtayo® (cemiplimab) (IV)
Opdivo® (nivolumab) (IV)
Tecentriq® (atezolizumab) (IV)
Important Things to Know - Imfinzi

This drug is used for Stage III NSCLC that cannot be removed by surgery and that has not progressed after treatment with chemoradiation that included a platinum chemotherapy* drug.                     

*Platinum chemotherapy for lung cancer includes cisplatin (Platinol, Platinol-AQ, CDDP) or carboplatin (Paraplatin).

 

Important Things to Know - Keytruda
  • When given as initial therapy, this drug is often given at the same time as chemotherapy.
  • This drug is used for:  
    • Advanced squamous NSCLC.
    • Advanced non-squamous NSCLC that is EGFR- or ALK-.
    • Stage III NSCLC that cannot be treated with surgery or chemoradiation.  
    • Advanced NSCLC that is PD-L1+ and EGFR- or ALK-.
    • Advanced NSCLC 1) if PD-L1+, platinum chemotherapy* either did not work or stopped working, and 2) if EGFR+ or ALK+ targeted therapy did not work or stopped working.
    • Any type of advanced lung cancer that tests positive for MSI-High, TMB-High, or dMMR when prior treatment did not work or stopped working.

*Platinum chemotherapy for lung cancer includes cisplatin (Platinol, Platinol-AQ, CDDP) or carboplatin (Paraplatin).

 

Important Things to Know - Libtayo

This drug is used for advanced NSCLC that is PD-L1+ and EGFR-, ALK-, and ROS1-, and that cannot be treated with surgery or chemoradiation.

 
Important Things to Know - Opdivo

This drug is used for:  

  • Advanced NSCLC that is PD-L1+ and EGFR- and ALK-. Given with Yervoy® (ipilimumab).
  • Advanced NSCLC for which platinum chemotherapy* did not work or stopped working. And, if EGFR+ or ALK+, targeted therapy did not work or stopped working.                 

*Platinum chemotherapy for lung cancer includes cisplatin (Platinol, Platinol-AQ, CDDP) or carboplatin (Paraplatin).

 

Important Things to Know - Tecentriq
  • This drug is often given at the same time as the chemotherapy drugs carboplatin, paclitaxel, or etoposide. It may also be given with Avastin® (bevacizumab), a drug that targets blood vessel growth.
  • This drug is used for:
    • Advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that is EGFR- or ALK-.  
    • Advanced NSCLC that is PD-L1+ and EGFR- and ALK- .
    • NSCLC for which platinum chemotherapy* did not work or stopped working. And, if EGFR+ or ALK+, the targeted therapy did not work or stopped working.                     

*Platinum chemotherapy for lung cancer includes cisplatin (Platinol®, Platinol®-AQ, CDDP) or carboplatin (Paraplatin®).