the tippingpIOnt

the idea of mobilizing the patient’s immune system to combat cancer has transformed from a promising concept to the emerging standard of care of many cancer types and continuous advances and ongoing paradigm shifts in drug development are occurring on a regular basis. immuno-oncology [IO] therapies continue to create breakthroughs however real world challenges and significant shifts in value across healthcare systems create barriers to access for patients.

an overcrowding in drug development, fragmented and uncoordinated approaches, a depleted and outdated cancer system poses many challenges to the promise of IO. recent success have been offset by failures, and turbo-charged combination opportunities with IO and with different classes of therapies create challenges to access.   meaningfully and responsibly measuring and defining the value and potential of IO for all stakeholders to identify the gaps and opportunities that lead to greater access and appropriate use.  the potential of IO could be maximally capitalized through cross-sector collaboration, greater understanding and education to bring the true promise of IO to patients, faster.

IO. where it was. where it is. where it is going
while immune therapy is not a new concept, today’s increasing knowledge of cancer, immunology and the tumour micro-environment is leading to smarter and more effective development of immuno-therapies to treat cancer.

IO. beyond the check point inhibitors.
a key goal now is to develop a deeper understanding of why some patients respond to IO therapies while others exhibit resistance, or become refractory [resistance] to IO therapy with time.

IO. update on recent approvals for checkpoint inhibitors
the IO landscape has been emerging over the last few years, there are now seven FDA approved checkpoint inhibitors in over a dozen different cancer indications [ipilimumab, pembrolizumab, nivolumab, atezolizumab, avelumab, durvalumab and cemiplimab].

the promise of IO.
advances in immuno-oncology [IO] have provided benefit to some patients with late stage or metastatic cancer and early results in adjuvant clinical trials in melanoma and lung cancer are showing signs of promise. while innovative approaches to patient selection, use of combinations and sequencing of therapies has led to more patients benefitting from IO therapy, there remains a need to better understand its true clinical and economic value, to educate on the potential reach…

the potential reach of io.
despite important advances there are still many key questions to achieve a future where the potential benefit of these therapies can be maximised for the greatest number of patients, in both early and late stage cancers.