Perioperative Immunotherapy in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Jenny O’Brien, J. Nicholas Bodor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The standard of care in patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) following surgical resection has been adjuvant chemotherapy for the last two decades, despite modest improvements in survival and high rates of disease recurrence. Numerous clinical trials have reported practice-changing findings demonstrating a benefit in disease-free survival (DFS) or event-free survival (EFS) with perioperative immunotherapy. This has led to several recent regulatory approvals supporting the use of adjuvant immunotherapy or neoadjuvant immuno-chemotherapy in NSCLC, and such therapies are now an integral component of care for early-stage disease. However, in select cases, such as in the presence of certain tumor oncogenes associated with immunotherapy resistance, the use of checkpoint inhibitors in the perioperative setting should generally be avoided. This speaks to the importance of integrating routine tissue-based molecular profiling, that evaluates for tumor oncogene mutations and PD-L1 expression, into our practice when caring for patients with early-stage NSCLC. While an overall survival (OS) advantage has yet to be firmly established from many of the recent studies evaluating perioperative immunotherapy, it is expected that an OS benefit and higher rates of cure will become evident as these data mature, especially among patients with greater levels of tumor PD-L1 expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1790-1801
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Oncology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Checkpoint inhibitor
  • Immunotherapy
  • Neoadjuvant therapy
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Perioperative therapy


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