Immunotherapy Plus Chemo Boosts Event-Free Survival in Resectable Lung Cancer

Patients with operable non-small cell lung cancer who were treated with an anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody plus a doublet chemotherapy regiment did not experience cancer recurrence or new symptom onset during follow-up in a recent study.

A phase 3 trial assessing treatment with the immune checkpoint inhibitor, toripalimab, with chemotherapy before surgery in patients with operable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) achieved its main result of event-free survival.

In particular, patients with NSCLC who were treated with toripalimab and a platinum-based doublet chemotherapy before undergoing surgery for their operable disease had significantly longer time without experiencing events like cancer recurrence or the onset of symptoms compared with those treated with the doublet chemotherapy alone.

These preliminary findings were noted in a press release from Junshi Biosciences, the manufacturer of toripalimab.

Researchers are conducting the phase 3 Neotorch study to assess the safety and efficacy of toripalimab, an anti-PD-1 monocloncal antibody, with a platinum-containing doublet chemotherapy in patients with operable NSCLC. In addition to event-free survival, researchers will also analyze pathological complete remission (the absence of all signs of cancer in tissue samples taken during surgery after treatment), disease-free survival (the time after treatment that a patient survives without any symptoms or signs of the cancer) and overall survival (the time when a patient with cancer is still alive).

Of note, the type of platinum-containing double chemotherapy that patients in the study received was selected by the researchers based on how a particular institution treated patients, according to the release. For example, patients with squamous NSCLC were treated with a combination of paclitaxel and cisplatin, whereas those with non-squamous NSCLC received pemetrexed with cisplatin.

According to ClinicalTrials.gov, researchers conducting the Neotorch study anticipate on enrolling an estimated 500 patients with resectable stage 2 to 3 NSCLC. The study should be completed in October 2024.

The company plans to communicate with regulatory authorities like the Food and Drug Administration regarding a supplemental New Drug Application in the future, according to the release.

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