Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD, Discusses Adjuvant Therapy for Early NSCLC at 2021 ASCO

During the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting, Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD, looked forward to how trials regarding adjuvant therapy for early-stage non–small cell lung cancer are poised to change the treatment paradigm in this setting.

CancerNetwork® sat down with Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD, of the Winship Cancer Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting to talk about a trial involving atezolizumab (Tecentriq) in early-stage non–small cell lung cancer. He said this and other trials involving adjuvant therapy have great potential for clinical impact in the early-disease setting.


I think the adjuvant trial with the atezolizumab in early-stage non–small cell lung cancer is an eagerly anticipated trial. There have been multiple randomized trials that have been completed using immune checkpoint inhibitors in resected non–small cell lung cancer. The IMpower010 [NCT02486718] study is the first one to report out at this year’s meeting, and I believe those results will be discussed and potentially integrated into practice. The notion that we could use immune checkpoint inhibitors in early-stage disease to improve overall outcomes is very exciting, and an important step forward in the management of early-stage lung cancer. We’ve used adjuvant chemotherapy for these patients for nearly 2 decades now, [and] more recently for EGFR-mutated [disease]. Osimertinib [Tagrisso] has gained approval for patients without these targetable mutations. Using immunotherapy would be another novel way to improve their outcomes. I’m very interested in excited about the adjuvant immunotherapy data.


Heather W, Nasser A, Caicun Z, et al. Impower010: Primary results of a phase III global study of atezolizumab versus best supportive care after adjuvant chemotherapy in resected stage IB-IIIA non-small cell lung cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2021;39(suppl 15):8500. doi:10.1200/JCO.2021.39.15_suppl.8500