Giving immunotherapy before surgery improves outcomes for people with lung cancer, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Nivolumab is the name of an immunotherapy used to treat cancer, and a recent study of people with lung cancer using it before surgery shows it really helps. Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center director William Nelson explains.

Nelson: Three hundred fifty-eight people randomized to receive the immunotherapy or not, along with chemotherapy before surgery. It’s a significant clinical advance. The time when cancer is going to recur was significantly prolonged, and the most stunning finding is when they did the surgery, in the people who had chemotherapy about 2.2 percent of the time it looked like the cancer had completely disappeared. If you got the addition of the nivolumab 24 percent of those people had no sign of any cancer whatsoever in their surgery.  :34

Nelson says side effects were largely acceptable and manageable, and predicts this will be the new standard of care for people with this type of lung cancer. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.