Antibodies against programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) and its ligand (PD-L1) have become standard-of-care in the second-line treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer after failure of first-line chemotherapy. The observed durable responses as well as the favourable toxicity profile have moved these agents to first-line studies for advanced non-small cell lung cancer. In tumours with high PD-L1 expression, pembrolizumab is registered as the preferred first-line treatment. Further studies are currently focusing on combination strategies. The major future challenge will be selecting the optimal treatment strategy for the patient.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2017;11(8):380–385)