Nathan Pennell, MD, PhD, on Exciting Lung Cancer Research Presented at 2021 ASCO

Among other things, Pennell focused on data regarding atezolizumab as adjuvant therapy to improve disease-free survival for patients with stage II/III resected non–small cell lung cancer.

CancerNetwork® spoke with Nathan Pennell, MD, PhD, of the Taussig Cancer Institute of Cleveland Clinic, to discuss some of the significant abstracts in the non–small cell lung cancer space presented at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.


I think the IMpower010 trial [NCT02486718] of adjuvant atezolizumab [Tecentriq] is probably the one that I’m most excited to see some results from. We’ve already seen…that apparently there is an improvement in disease-free survival for stage II and stage III resected non–small cell lung cancer [treated] with adjuvant atezolizumab after [surgery]. I think being able to look in more detail at the breakdown of those results [may indicate that it’s] one of the practice-changing abstracts at ASCO.

We’ll also see the surgical outcomes of the CheckMate 816 study [NCT02998528] of neoadjuvant chemotherapy and nivolumab [Opdivo] for patients. Looking at that will be intriguing, although we haven’t really seen efficacy outside of pathologic responses from that trial yet. But I think something that has always been a big passion of mine has been treatment of early-stage patients and moving our effective stage IV treatments into earlier stages. And we’’re starting to see an explosion of these types of studies, which I think is incredibly exciting.