Pre- and Post-Surgical Immunotherapy Improves Outcomes for Patients with Operable Lung Cancer

Phase III study finds perioperative nivolumab plus chemotherapy significantly lowers chance of disease recurrence, progression or death compared to chemotherapy alone.

Tina Cascone, MD, PhD

Compared with pre-surgical (neoadjuvant) chemotherapy alone, adding perioperative immunotherapy – given before and after surgery – significantly improved event-free survival (EFS) in patients with resectable early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to researchers from The University of Texas (UT) MD Anderson Cancer Center and colleagues. Results from the Phase III CheckMate 77T study were published on May 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine. At a median follow-up of 25.4 months, the median EFS with chemotherapy alone was 18.4 months, while the median had not yet been reached for patients receiving perioperative nivolumab, meaning EFS was prolonged significantly over the control group. These results correspond to a 42% reduction in risk of disease progression, recurrence, or death for those receiving the perioperative combination. The NEJM article is titled “Perioperative Nivolumab in Resectable Lung Cancer.”

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