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Could Durvalumab (Imfinzi) Improve Survival in Early-Stage NSCLC?

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March 5, 2021

Study investigates use of durvalumab after SBRT

  • Adding the checkpoint inhibitor durvalumab (brand name: Imfinzi) improves survival in patients with stage III NSCLC
  • Now the PACIFIC-4 trial is investigating its use in earlier stage patients following SBRT
  • The hope is that adding durvalumab will reduce recurrences
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The PACIFIC trial revealed a clear survival benefit to giving durvalumab (brand name: Imfinzi) to patients with stage III unresectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) following chemoradiation. With the PACIFIC-4 study, researchers want to learn whether patients might benefit from this checkpoint inhibitor in the earlier stages of the disease.

One area of interest is the use of durvalumab following stereotactic body radiation (SBRT), which has proven to be a very effective and potentially curative approach in patients with early-stage lung cancer. “Especially in people who might not be the perfect surgical candidates, patients who are elderly or who have significant lung disease, SBRT is used more and more widely,” Dr. Balazs Halmos, medical oncologist and director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at Montefiore Medical Center, tells SurvivorNet Connect.

The hope is that giving durvalumab to patients with early-stage cancers will reduce recurrence rates. “This is where studies such as the PACIFIC-4 study are so important,” Dr. Halmos says. This phase 3, randomized, double-blinded international study of patients with stage I and II NSCLC will compare overall survival with durvalumab versus placebo “to see if that benefit is going to be impactful for our patients.”