The change that makes a mostly fatal lung cancer “curable”

A team of Spanish researchers has discovered that the administration of chemo-immunotherapy before operating on lung cancer significantly increases the survival rate of patients; a change that makes tumors “curable” that are mostly “lethal” today


X-ray of some lungs. EPA / EFE

The journal The Lancet Oncology has published the results of the “NADIM” study carried out by researchers from the Spanish Group of Lung Cancer (GECP), results that open the door to a change in the therapeutic approach of lung tumors when it is found in intermediate stages.

The research, which according to its authors is pioneering worldwide, yields survival results that are double those obtained so far with the traditional treatment to treat this type of tumors (chemotherapy after surgery).

The study has focused on patients with lung cancer in intermediate stages – those who can be operated on, but in which the tumor has already spread to surrounding lymph nodes.

“We are talking about making potential and mostly lethal tumors curable”, said Dr. Mariano Provencio, president of the Group and principal investigator, in a press release released last Friday.

lung cancer
The president of the Spanish Lung Cancer Group, Mariano Provencio, covers his face to demand more involvement against this tumor.

The study has yielded very hopeful data for this type of patient: 89.9 percent of the patients included in the study survived after two years and 77 percent had no progression of the disease in this period.

Furthermore, 63.4% of the included patients had a complete pathological tumor response when surgery was performed (tumor absence).

“These rates represent almost twice the survival rate of that registered so far with the traditional approach. This is important because only 30 percent of the patients survived after three years ”, stated the president of the GECP.

The “NADIM” study has also evaluated the safety of this treatment regimen, and researchers have concluded that it is safe.

“The side effects of the treatment only occurred in 30 percent of the patients and did not interfere with subsequent surgery”, explained Provencio.

The researchers further consider that this strategy provides protection to the patient since the presence of the complete tumor mass at the start of immunotherapy allows the induction of a stronger adaptive antitumor response and the early development of immune memory that can provide long-term protection. to the patient.

The CECP has recalled that lung cancer, despite being diagnosed in locally advanced stages, is a “terminal” disease, with little prospect of long-term survival.

Mariano Provencio has underlined that “research until now had focused on advanced stages of the tumor, so in the last 20 years there had been no progress”.

“The NADIM study is the first research worldwide that has analyzed the benefits (viability, safety, efficacy and survival) of administering chemo-innumotherapy before surgery to patients with lung cancer in initial or locally advanced stages”, Provencio highlighted .

And he recalled that until now the efficacy of this treatment had not been tested and the survival and cure prognoses in this group of patients (20% of all cases) “were very poor.”

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