Immunotherapy and radiotherapy in stage III non-small cell lung cancer

SAKK 16/18

Coordinating investigator

Dr. med.
Laetitia
Mauti
Kantonsspital Winterthur
+41 52 266 23 73

Patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer may be treated with curative intent. However, there is a high recurrence rate. The SAKK 16/18 trial seeks to establish whether the prognosis can be improved by immunotherapy and radiotherapy given in addition to the standard treatment.

A number of therapeutic options are available for patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer (locally advanced NSCLC). In Switzerland, the standard treatment consists of neoadjuvant chemotherapy with subsequent tumor surgery. Although this treatment is given with curative intent, most patients suffer recurrence of the disease. As a result, the 5-year survival rate is only 12–41%.

Does the addition of immunotherapy and radiotherapy improve the prognosis?

The SAKK 16/18 trial seeks to establish whether the prognosis can be improved when patients additionally receive preoperative immunotherapy with the anti-PD-L1 antibody durvalumab in combination with radiotherapy. Immunotherapy and radiotherapy are given in addition to the standard treatment (neoadjuvant chemotherapy plus surgery). 90 patients with stage III (locally advanced) NSCLC (N2) can join the trial.

Lifelong follow-up

After the trial therapy there will be a follow-up period in which regular check-ups are performed. These will take place:

  • every three months in the first two years,
  • every six months in the next three years,
  • and once a year as of the sixth year after completion of treatment (lifelong).
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