Immunotherapy before surgery doubles survival in lung cancer

A Spanish study “opens a door in a global therapeutic approach” that would allow more patients to be cured


The survival prospects of patients with lung cancer in intermediate stages (which can be operated on, but in which the tumor has already spread to surrounding lymph nodes) have been turned upside down thanks to a world-leading Spanish study whose results publishes The Lancet Oncology journal.

Researchers from the Spanish Lung Cancer Group (GECP) have found in their ‘Nadim Study’ that administering chemo-immunotherapy before surgery in this group of patients duplicates the results with respect to the traditional treatment that is the current standard (chemotherapy after surgery). “We are talking about making potential and mostly lethal tumors curable,” says Mariano Provencio, Group president and principal investigator. For Provencio, “the door is opened to a change in the therapeutic approach at a global level that would allow increasing the number of patients who can finally be cured.”

“The side effect of the treatment only occurred in 30% of the patients”
89.9% of the patients included in the study survived after two years and 77% had no disease progression in this period. Furthermore, 63.4% of the included patients had a complete pathological tumor response when surgery was performed (absence of tumor). “These rates represent almost twice the survival rate of that registered so far with the traditional approach. This is important because only 30 percent of the patients survived after three years ”, details the president of the GECP.

The ‘Nadim Study’ has also evaluated the safety of this treatment regimen, which according to the GECP researchers is safe. “The side effect of the treatment (adverse events) only occurred in 30 percent of the patients and did not interfere with subsequent surgery,” explains Provencio.

Furthermore, the GECP researchers believe that this strategy confers protection to the patient since the presence of the entire tumor mass at the start of immunotherapy allows the induction of a stronger adaptive antitumor response and the early development of immune memory that can provide protection. long-term to the patient.

The first breakthrough in two decades
Until now, lung cancer, despite being diagnosed in locally advanced stages, was a terminal disease, with little prospect of long-term survival. As Mariano Provencio assures, “research until now had focused on advanced stages of the tumor, so in the last 20 years there had been no progress until the arrival of Nadim”.

“The GECP‘ Nadim ’study is the first investigation in the world that has analyzed the benefits (viability, safety, efficacy and survival) of administering chemo-innumonetarpy before surgery to patients with early or locally advanced lung cancer. Until now, the efficacy of this treatment had not been tested and the prognoses for survival and cure in this group of patients (20 percent of all cases) were very poor ”, concludes Provencio.


We are proud that a Spanish team has presented this breakthrough against lung cancer.

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