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Roundtable Discussion at ESMO on Immunology in Cancer
Part3: Defining the treatment pathway
As Mary O’Brien (Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton, Surrey, UK), Paul Baas (Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam) and Wilfried Eberhardt (University Hospital, Essen, Germany) discuss, it took time to establish when and how to use EGFR therapies; it may be even more difficult to establish the treatment pathway for immunotherapy.
With traditional chemotherapy, treatment was stopped once toxicity developed. With immunotherapies, it is less clear cut. Patients who respond may show an early response, stabilisation of disease, or a late response. Furthermore, once the drug is stopped, it may still have a prolonged effect. Clinicians are learning how to use immunotherapy, including when to stop treatment. This question will become increasingly important as immunotherapy moves to become first line treatment; inevitably it also brings financial considerations.