Nivolumab Plus Platinum-Doublet Chemotherapy for Resectable Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer May Improve Patient Quality of Life

Jonathan Spicer, MD, medical director of the McGill University Health Center Thoracic Oncology Network, discusses what some of the most important findings were in regard to patient outcomes from the phase 3 trial assessing nivolumab plus platinum-doublet chemotherapy for resectable non-small cell lung cancer.

Pharmacy Times interviewed Jonathan Spicer, MD, associate professor of surgery at McGill University and medical director of the McGill University Health Center Thoracic Oncology Network, on his presentation at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting on surgical outcomes from the phase 3 CheckMate 816 trial assessing nivolumab plus platinum-doublet chemotherapy (chemo) versus chemo alone as neoadjuvant treatment for patients with resectable non-small cell lung cancer.

During the discussion, Spicer addresses what some of the most important findings from the phase 3 trial were in terms of impact on patient outcomes.

Jonathan Spicer: Generally, in cancer surgery, if we can create a scenario where a patient loses less function or has less maming surgery—we've seen it in the breast cancer world—the ability to move patients from requiring a total mastectomy to maybe just needing a lumpectomy in a sentinel node dissection on its own irrespective of what might happen 5 years from now is a very important thing for people.

For some reason, even though the lung is a vital organ that we use every second of every day and it contributes to pretty much every aspect of our function, the same importance to being able to reduce the amount of lung that we need to remove to get a cure has not garnered the same attention.

So, when we look at approving new regimens, I think if we show that by giving this treatment, we can reduce the amount of lung that we have to take, which has significant impact both in terms of survival but also quality of life, I couldn't think of a more important thing for a patient undergoing cancer treatment for lung cancer.