Chemotherapy in combination with immunotherapy has already been used for patients with metastatic lung adenocarcinoma for over a year. A second type of non-small cell lung cancer, called squamous lung cancer, just had a similar approval for benefit of immunotherapy in combination with chemotherapy compared to chemo by itself. In the KEYNOTE-407 trial, patients with metastatic squamous lung cancer were randomized to pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy or placebo plus chemotherapy. Those getting the immunotherapy, pembrolizumab, along with chemotherapy lived longer than those that received chemo alone (15.9 months vs 11.3 months).
In late 2018, based on these results, the FDA approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in combination with chemotherapy for the first-line treatment of metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer.