July 13, 2024

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Pre-Surgery Immunotherapy Yields Greater Benefits for Cancer Patients!

Pre-Surgery Immunotherapy Yields Greater Benefits for Cancer Patients!

Pre-Surgery Immunotherapy Yields Greater Benefits for Cancer Patients!

Surgery has long been the primary treatment option for cancer patients with surgical indications.

With advancements in immunotherapy, it has been discovered that receiving immunotherapy before surgery may provide better survival benefits for patients.

Immunotherapy harnesses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer, and theoretically, the better and more complete the immune system, the more effective the immunotherapy will be. Thus, receiving immunotherapy before surgery and radiotherapy or chemotherapy could potentially offer more benefits. Additionally, if immunotherapy can “cure” the cancer or reduce its size, it can enhance subsequent treatments and yield better outcomes.

So, can pre-surgery immunotherapy help patients achieve better treatment results?

A recent study published in the NEJM journal explored this question to confirm whether pre-surgery immunotherapy provides better outcomes. The results showed that pre-surgery immunotherapy increased event-free survival by nearly 50%!


Pre-Surgery Immunotherapy Yields Greater Benefits for Cancer Patients!


From February 2019 to May 2022, researchers recruited 313 patients aged 18 and above diagnosed with advanced melanoma and suitable for surgical resection. These patients were randomly assigned to a neoadjuvant treatment group (154 patients received pre-surgery immunotherapy) and an adjuvant treatment group (159 patients received post-surgery immunotherapy).


Neoadjuvant Treatment Group Protocol:

  • Intravenous infusion of 200 mg of pembrolizumab every 3 weeks, for a total of 3 doses before surgery, followed by an additional 15 doses of pembrolizumab as adjuvant therapy.

Adjuvant Treatment Group Protocol:

  • Intravenous infusion of 200 mg of pembrolizumab every 3 weeks after surgery, for a total of 18 doses.

Both groups had a median follow-up time of 14.7 months, during which 105 treatment events occurred: 38 in the neoadjuvant group and 67 in the adjuvant group.

The results showed that patients in the neoadjuvant group had significantly longer event-free survival than those in the adjuvant group.

Analyzing the 2-year event-free survival rate revealed that the neoadjuvant group’s rate reached 72%, compared to just 49% in the adjuvant group, marking an increase of nearly 50%. This improvement is a milestone.

In terms of safety, 7% of patients in the neoadjuvant group experienced at least one grade 3 or 4 adverse event, compared to 4% in the adjuvant group who experienced surgery-related grade 3 adverse events.

Researchers concluded that the timing of immunotherapy relative to surgery can significantly impact patient outcomes, even when both groups subsequently received the same systemic therapy.

Beyond this study, previous research on resectable non-small cell lung cancer patients found that event-free survival was longer when immunotherapy was followed by chemotherapy. Similar improvements in long-term survival outcomes were observed in breast cancer and bladder cancer treatments with pre-surgery immunotherapy.

Over the past decade, advancements in immunotherapy have revolutionized cancer treatment. Studies increasingly show that earlier immunotherapy can offer better survival rates and treatment outcomes. Providing the most suitable treatment at the most appropriate time not only enhances treatment effectiveness but also helps reduce treatment costs, achieving better results with less effort.

Pre-Surgery Immunotherapy Yields Greater Benefits for Cancer Patients!


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(source:internet, reference only)

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