Immunotherapeutic agents have demonstrated effectiveness at delivering sustained treatment responses; however, these agents are associated with substantial costs. Furthermore, prolonged use of immunotherapy can increase the likelihood that a patient will experience treatment toxicities.
Richard W. Joseph, MD, explains how clinical studies designed to assess appropriate duration of immunotherapy treatment can help reduce these patient burdens.
Dr Joseph notes that clinical trials of immunotherapy in different types of cancer have demonstrated durable response rates. Keeping patients on immunotherapy for a long period of time may not always be necessary, and studies that evaluate the appropriate duration of treatment with immunotherapeutic agents are needed. If cancer recurs, he adds, patients may still respond when immunotherapy is restarted.
By appropriately limiting the length of treatment with immunotherapy based on data from clinical trials, healthcare professionals can reduce the cost burden and the likelihood of experiencing treatment toxicities, Dr Joseph remarks.