Article Abstract

PACIFIC trial: new perspectives for immunotherapy in lung cancer

Authors: Francesco Agustoni, Fred R. Hirsch


Lung cancer still represents the most frequent cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide and 85% of all lung neoplastic disease are classified as non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (1); approximately one third of NSCLC are locally advanced disease at diagnosis (2). Actually, the standard-of-care for unresectable or inoperable stage IIIA and IIIB disease for patients with good performance status consists of platinum-based doublet chemotherapy (CT) concurrent with 60 Gy of radiotherapy (RT) administered daily over 6 weeks followed by possible further two cycles of consolidative CT (2). The supportive evidence for the use of concomitant chemoradiotherapy (CT/RT) is rooted in many clinical trials, with evidence of better results of concurrent CT/RT compared to either modality of administration of CT and RT, alone or sequential (3). The 5-year overall survival (OS) rate is 15–35% for stage IIIA and 5–10% for stage IIIB (4). Although survival outcomes are poor, notable is that a subset of the patients are potentially curable.