Interview with Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, on Immunotherapy in Lung Cancer

MDedge News

Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, is the Ensign Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology) and Professor of Pharmacology at Yale University, and Chief of Medical Oncology at Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut.

In this interview conducted at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) – Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC): Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium, Dr. Herbst, an internationally recognized expert in the research and treatment of lung cancer, discusses recent progress in therapeutic approaches to lung malignancies, and outlines some of the challenges ahead.

Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD

Lung Cancer Journey: As you said at this meeting, there have been tremendous strides made in lung cancer therapy over the last decade, but still only about 20% of patients benefit from these treatments. What is the current state of the art in this field?

Lung Cancer Journey: Is there anything in particular you heard about at this meeting that seems particular interesting or promising, such as GITR (glucocorticoid-induced TNFR-related), an immune agonist, as discussed by Dr. Wolchok (Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York)?

Lung Cancer Journey: Compared with non-small cell lung cancer, small cell lung cancer is much more difficult to treat. Given this challenge, do you expect to see the same benefits with immunotherapy as we’ve seen with NSCLC?


Lung Cancer Journey: You were a co-author on recent Nature Medicine paper identifying Siglec 15  (sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-type lectin 15) as a potential new target for potentiating immunotherapy in the tumor microenvironment. Is this a promising approach for improving immunotherapy?

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