Jonathan Spicer, MD, PhD, Discusses Multidisciplinary Communication for Treating Resectable NSCLC With Neoadjuvant Immunotherapy

CancerNetwork® sat down with Jonathan Spicer, MD, PhD, at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting to talk about how communication across a multidisciplinary team was necessary to the success of neoadjuvant immunotherapy administration in CheckMate 816.

At the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, CancerNetwork® spoke with Jonathan Spicer, MD, PhD, of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, regarding multidisciplinary communication during the phase 3 CheckMate 816 trial (NCT02998528). As a leader, he spoke about how being forced to work with practitioners outside of his department helped the entire center become stronger.

CheckMate 816 focused on patients with resectable non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who were treated with neoadjuvant nivolumab (Opdivo) plus ipilimumab (Yervoy), nivolumab plus chemotherapy, or chemotherapy alone with results supporting the use of nivolumab/chemotherapy as a potential neoadjuvant treatment in this setting.


When we first opened CheckMate 816, McGill University Health Center worked essentially on 2 main hospital sites, there’s Montreal General Hospital and the Royal Victoria Hospital. The Cancer Center is down at the Royal Victoria and Montreal General is where the surgery is done. We all work together but going through this trial was a real team building exercise. I think it brought all members of the team—medical oncologists, surgeons, pulmonologists—to get adequate staging biopsies [and] the interpretation of the resected specimen pathologically. It’s been a huge learning experience for pathologists and we’ve all had to communicate a lot about that and the care of these patients. I think we’ve all learned an enormous amount and it’s made us become a much more tightly knit team, which has been extremely positive. I’m grateful for that opportunity, because [as the] one leading this effort at McGill, it’s been really good for our team.


Spicer J, Wang C, Tanaka F, et al. Surgical outcomes from the phase 3 CheckMate 816 trial: Nivolumab (NIVO) + platinum-doublet chemotherapy (chemo) vs chemo alone as neoadjuvant treatment for patients with resectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). J Clin Oncol. 2021;39(suppl 15):8503. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2021.39.15_suppl.8503