Welcome to Closing the Gaps in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer on ReachMD, sponsored by Lilly.
On today’s program, we’ll hear from Dr. Michael Shafique, who’s an Assistant Professor of Thoracic Oncology at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. Here’s Dr. Shafique now to reveal the priorities oncologists should keep in mind when managing adverse events in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
So, I think the most important adverse events that my colleagues in academic settings and in community centers need to keep in mind are the adverse events associated with the new immunotherapies that have, you know, been approved over the last four to five years or so.
I think it’s – in an academic center, we do get to see these adverse events in a much, in a much more, more frequent rate, and so I think many of us here in the lung cancer group are very attuned when to look for them and at what times following treatment to look for these, but I think, you know, the immune therapies that have been approved for lung cancer all tend to stimulate the immune system to attack cancer cells and, um, they sometimes do too good a job of that and stimulate the immune system in a way that it begins to inflame other parts of the body.
And so, the important things to look out for for most of our lung cancer patients on immunotherapy are these autoimmune side effects. Uh, the most common ones that we see are going to be skin rash, uh, diarrhea or colitis, as well as endocrine abnormalities – the most common of which is thyroiditis. So, it’s important to be on the lookout for these kinds of adverse events when managing, uh, patients on immunotherapy.
It’s also really important to keep an eye out for the most severe of these manifestations and the most life threatening, which could be pneumonitis or encephalitis, which can occur in about 3% and less than 1% of patients respectively.
That was Dr. Michael Shafique sharing his insights on managing adverse events in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. To revisit any part of this discussion and to access other episodes in this series, visit ReachMD.com/NSCLC, where you can Be Part of the Knowledge. Thanks for listening!