Immunotherapy Prior to Surgery Shows Promise in Fight Against Lung Cancer

Immunotherapy administered prior to surgery yields encouraging results in the fight against lung cancer. 

Scientists at the John Hopkins Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immnunotherapy and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have found encouraging results in lung cancer patients, treated with immunotherapy prior to surgery. This treatment is designed to arrest disease progression within the microenvironment.

The study found that administering two doses of anti-PD1 immunotherapy ‘nivolumab’ for several weeks prior to the surgery yielded encouraging outcomes, with 45% of the patients showing little evidence of cancer after the follow-up. Additionally, it is likely that the patients’ immune system destroyed straggler tumor cells still circulating in the blood system: "The concept of interception is simple when you hear it, to arrest the natural history of cancer. In other words, once a cancer begins to develop, scientists look for strategic points where they can intervene and stop its growth. This team is using T cells, activated by immunotherapy prior to surgery, to continue to circulate through the patient's body, after surgery. These T cells can intervene, stopping errant tumor cells from forming new metastases, preventing recurrence," says Stand Up To Cancer President and CEO Sung Poblete, Ph.D., RN. "This study is emblematic of SU2C's focus on Cancer Interception, finding new treatment approaches to intervene in the natural development of cancer, so that cancer patients may become long-term survivors. We are hopeful that this breakthrough, and the follow-up clinical studies already underway, will translate into a new standard of care."


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