Improving Survival in Resected NSCLC With Adoptive Cellular Immunotherapy

Lung cancer cells
Lung cancer cells
A phase 3 trial examined the efficacy of chemoimunnotherapy vs chemotherapy alone in postsurgical patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

Adjuvant adoptive cellular immunotherapy plus chemotherapy improved overall survival (OS) among patients with resected non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) compared with chemotherapy alone, according to data presented at the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Spain.

Adoptive cellular immunotherapy — which, in this trial, was adoptive transfer of autologous activated killer T cells and dendritic cells from a patient’s lymph nodes — has not been widely used for cancer treatment. This purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the combination of chemotherapy with adoptive cellular immunotherapy (chemoimmunotherapy) in NSCLC.

The phase 3 trial randomly assigned 103 postsurgical patients with NSCLC to receive chemoimmunotherapy or chemotherapy alone.

Chemoimmunotherapy significantly improved OS compared with chemotherapy alone, with 2- and 5-year rates of 96.0% and 69.4%, respectively, in the chemoimmunotherapy arm compared with 64.7% and 45.1%, respectively, in the chemotherapy arm (hazard ratio, 0.451; 95% CI, 0.235-0.807).

Related Articles

The 2- and 5-year recurrence-free survival (RFS) was 70.0% and 57.9%, respectively, in the chemoimmunotherapy arm compared with 43.1% and 31.4%, respectively, in the chemotherapy arm. Subgroup analyses suggested chemoimmunotherapy was most favorable among males, patients with adenocarcinoma, those with stage III disease, and those who had not received neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

According to the investigators, these data suggest that adjuvant adoptive cellular immunotherapy improves outcomes among patient with NSCLC.


Kimura H, Matsui Y, Nakajima T, Iizasa T, Ishikawa A. Phase III randomized controlled trial of adjuvant chemoimmunotherapy in patients with resected primary lung cancer. Presented at: European Society for Medical Oncology 2017 Congress; September 8-12, 2017; Madrid, Spain. Abstract 1144O.

This article originally appeared on Cancer Therapy Advisor