The combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy does not worsen the quality of life of patients undergoing neoadjuvant treatment of non-small cell lung cancer

Dra. Enriqueta Felip
  • Dr Enriqueta Felip, head of the Thoracic Tumours and Head and Neck Cancer Group at VHIO and section head in the Oncology Department at Vall dHebron University Hospital, both of which form part of the Vall d’Hebron Campus, is the first author of a study that has analysed the quality of life data of patients enrolled in the CheckMate 816 clinical trial
  • This trial sought to ascertain if the combination of nivolumab, a monoclonal antibody that blocks the interaction between PD-1 and its ligands, with two platinum-based chemotherapies as neoadjuvant treatment for resectable non-small cell lung cancer improved the results of conventional chemotherapy.
  • The results obtained in this new analysis, in addition to those already obtained in terms of efficacy and safety, endorse the use of this combination.

Although major advances in the treatment of lung cancer have significantly improved survival, this type of tumour remains a serious problem worldwide and has a high mortality rate. One of the latest breakthroughs has been the introduction of immunotherapy, which is leading to improved results in this cancer type.

Dr Enriqueta Felip, head of the Thoracic Tumours and Head and Neck Cancer Group at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) and section head in the Oncology Department at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital will present, at the annual congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), due to be held in Paris from 9 to 13 September, data from an analysis of the results on the quality of life of patients that endorse the use of immunotherapy in the context of neoadjuvant treatment.

Delving deeper into the results of the CheckMate 816 trial

One of the studies that delves deepest into the use of this treatment is the CheckMate 816 Phase III clinical trial involving 352 patients with resectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that compared outcomes between a group receiving neoadjuvant treatment with nivolumab, an anti-PD-1 antibody that restores the function of existing anti-tumour T cells, plus chemotherapy, versus a group receiving chemotherapy in monotherapy.

The safety and efficacy data of this combination demonstrated that neoadjuvant treatment with three cycles of nivolumab plus chemotherapy could improve long-term clinical outcomes in patients with resectable stage IB-IIIA NSCLC without impeding viability of surgery or increasing the incidence of adverse events compared with chemotherapy. At the ESMO congress, Dr Enriqueta Felip presented the results of the impact of this combined treatment on the quality of life of patients.

“We have seen that the addition of nivolumab to neoadjuvant chemotherapy for resectable NSCLC tumours does not negatively impact health outcomes in terms of quality of life during the neoadjuvant period”, explained Dr Felip. She added that these results, together with the previously reported safety and efficacy results, endorse the use of this triple neoadjuvant combination.

“The use of immunotherapy in combination with chemotherapy as neoadjuvant therapy can offer a promising treatment option for these patients, which will allow us to treat the disease early and improve event-free survival for these patients, thus reducing the risk of relapse,” she explained, pointing out how these data, together with all of the above, support a shift in clinical practice to incorporate the combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy in preoperative treatment.

Reference:

1. Felip E, Wang C, Ciuleanu T, Saylors G, Tanaka F, Chen K, Ito H, Girard N, Lu S, Provencio Pulla M, Mitsudomi T, Awad M, Forde PM, Lawrance R, Taylor F, Worthy G, Blum SI, Vo L, Cai JL, Spicer J. Nivolumab (NIVO) plus platinum-doublet chemotherapy (chemo) versus chemo as neoadjuvant treatment for resectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) outcomes from CheckMate 816. Annals of Oncology (2022) 33 (suppl_7): S427-S437. https://doi.org/10.1016/annonc/annonc1062

ESMO Congress 2022 session details:

Mini Oral session: Non-metastatic NSCLC and other thoracic malignancies
Date: Monday, 12th september
Time: 14:45 – 16:15

932MO – Nivolumab (NIVO) plus platinum-doublet chemotherapy (chemo) versus chemo as neoadjuvant treatment for resectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) outcomes from CheckMate 816

Speaker: Enriqueta Felip (Barcelona, Spain)
Lecture Time: 15:45 – 15:50

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