Neoadjuvant and consolidation immuno-oncology therapy in stage III non-small cell lung cancer
Lung cancer continues to be the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Recently, immunotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has emerged as a powerful treatment option for advanced lung cancer. The relative success of programmed death 1 (PD-1) and/or programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) antibodies in metastatic disease have increased interest in expanding their use to earlier stage NSCLC. The complex and diverse nature of stage III disease also invites the incorporation of immunotherapy into treatment plans in both the neoadjuvant and consolidation settings. Currently available data of anti-PD-(L)1 therapies in stage III NSCLC are limited. However, interim results from two studies are encouraging: a phase II neoadjuvant nivolumab trial demonstrated early signals of efficacy, and the phase III PACIFIC trial of durvalumab recently showed significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS). Preliminary results for the phase II DETERRED trial of durvalumab have also been reported. Many studies are testing anti-PD-(L)1 therapies in the neoadjuvant and consolidation settings for stage III NSCLC, and will be discussed. As these studies mature they may provide further treatment options in management of stage III NSCLC.