Ask about lung cancer (closed)

To mark Lung Cancer Awareness Month, we're here until the end of the month to answer any questions you may have. We will aim to respond within 2 working days. This session is now closed.

Lung cancer and Atezolizumab immunotherapy

Posted by

Can you tell me what the timescales are for this treatment to start working? My oncologist has told me that it is working straight away , but others on this site have been told that it is months and that sometimes your 1st scan shows no improvement and can show further progression .

If I leave no trace behind in this fleeting world 
What then could you reproach? 
                                                       from   Genji Monogatari 
Ellen M-Macmillan
Posted by

Hi Albondigas,

Thanks for posting your question and being the first person to ask your question about lung cancer and response times for Atezolizumab.

I can understand why you’re a bit confused. Your oncologist is right to say that the treatment will be starting to work right away. Drugs like this one begin working at the molecular level, but it can take a few months before a response is seen on a scan.

Cancer immunotherapies may, in some cases, cause first scans to show no improvement and can give an appearance of further progression.  But when this happens doctors have to question if this is something known as “pseudo-progression” .

It can be difficult for doctors to tell the difference between pseudo-progression and actual tumour progression. But even if someone’s tumour looks as if it has progressed on the first scan but their clinical symptoms are improving, then doctors continue therapy. I can appreciate that this uncertainty may be hard to cope with, but I hope that this explanation is of some help.

Best wishes and take care

Ellen-Macmillan Online Digital Nurse Specialist.

Posted by

Hi Albondigas, and Ellen  thank you for the Q&A  it helps clear a lot up.  


onwards and upwards