Plain language summary of the CheckMate 816 study results: nivolumab plus chemotherapy given before surgery for non–small-cell lung cancer
What is this summary about?: In this article, we summarize results from the ongoing phase 3 CheckMate 816 clinical study that were published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2022. The goal of CheckMate 816 was to find out if nivolumab, an immunotherapy that activates a person's immune system (the body's natural defense system) to fight cancer, plus chemotherapy works better than chemotherapy alone when given before surgery in people with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that can be removed surgically (resectable NSCLC). What happened in the study?: Adults who had not previously taken medications to treat NSCLC and whose cancer could be removed with surgery were included in CheckMate 816. During this study, a computer randomly assigned the treatment each person would receive before surgery for NSCLC. In total, 179 people were randomly assigned to receive nivolumab plus chemotherapy, and 179 people were randomly assigned to receive chemotherapy alone. The researchers assessed whether people who received nivolumab plus chemotherapy lived longer without the cancer geting worse or coming back and whether there were any cancer cells left in the tumor and lymph nodes removed by surgery. The researchers also assessed how adding nivolumab to chemotherapy affected the timing and outcomes of surgery and whether the combination of these drugs was safe. What were the results?: Researchers found that people who took nivolumab plus chemotherapy lived longer without the cancer getting worse or coming back compared with those who took chemotherapy alone. More people in the nivolumab plus chemotherapy group had no cancer cells left in the tumor and lymph nodes removed by surgery. Most people went on to have surgery in both treatment groups; the people who took nivolumab plus chemotherapy instead of chemotherapy alone had less extensive surgeries and were more likely to have good outcomes after less extensive surgeries. Adding nivolumab to chemotherapy did not lead to an increase in the rate of side effects compared with chemotherapy alone, and side effects were generally mild and manageable. What do the results of the study mean?: Results from CheckMate 816 support the benefit of using nivolumab plus chemotherapy before surgery for people with resectable NSCLC.
Immunotherapy; Neoadjuvant treatment; Presurgery treatment
Forde PM, Spicer J, Lu S, Provencio M, Mitsudomi T, Awad MM, et al. Plain language summary of the CheckMate 816 study results: nivolumab plus chemotherapy given before surgery for non-small-cell lung cancer. Future Oncol. 2023 Mar;19(8):549-57.
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