Review Article

Immunotherapy Mechanisms of Action in Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

Beth Eaby-Sandy, MSN, CRNP, OCN®

Abramson Cancer Center, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Author’s disclosures of potential conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.

Beth Eaby-Sandy, MSN, CRNP, OCN®, 3400 Civic Center Boulevard, 2nd Floor West, Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104. E-mail:

J Adv Pract Oncol 2017;8:59–64 | | © 2017 Harborside Press®



Immunotherapy is now a mainstay of therapy for several different types of malignancies. Non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has been one of the first solid tumors to show promising clinical trial results in the use of immunotherapy, specifically, programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) and programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitors. Adding to the NSCLC immunotherapy landscape, clinical trials are looking at combining these agents as well as adding them to chemotherapy, resulting in new regimens and additional toxicity profiles. As these therapies gain more widespread clinical use in NSCLC, advanced practitioners will need to become more familiar with the drugs as well as their associated toxicities.

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