PACIFIC: shifting tides in the treatment of locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer

Andrew Bang, Jonathan D. Schoenfeld, Alexander Y. Sun


The treatment paradigm of stage III, unresectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has had few advancement since concurrent chemoradiotherapy was established as standard of care treatment. Despite modifications to radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgical approaches, loco-regional and distant relapse remain high, which unfortunately has translated to poor survival outcomes. The PACIFIC study introduced immunotherapy to the domain of stage III NSCLC and has emerged as the fourth pillar in cancer treatment for these patients. The positive results of the study have excited both the radiation and medical oncology communities, demonstrating improvements in overall and progression-free survival (PFS). In this review, we discuss the details and impacts of the PACIFIC study, as well as the future implications for the treatment of stage III NSCLC.