, Volume 79, Issue 18, pp 1937–1945 | Cite as

Immune Checkpoint Inhibition in Non-metastatic Non-small Cell Lung Cancer: Chance for Cure?

  • David F. Heigener
  • Martin ReckEmail author
Review Article


Immune checkpoint inhibition of programmed-death receptor 1 (PD-1) or its ligand (PD-L1) has become a standard in the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, either as monotherapy or in combination. Recently, it could be shown that immunotherapy works as consolidation after chemoradiotherapy in locally advanced disease if the tumours express PD-L1. A significant and meaningful survival benefit for consolidation with durvalumab after chemoradiotherapy compared to chemoradiotherapy alone was observed in the PACIFIC trial. In addition, there is a growing body of evidence that this treatment modality is also effective in a neoadjuvant setting in early stages, whereas the role as adjuvant treatment after surgery needs to be determined. The impact of combination therapies in non-metastatic stages—either neoadjuvant or adjuvant—needs to be evaluated in future trials. It is yet unclear whether PD-L1 and tumour mutational burden are predictive biomarkers as randomised trials are missing.


Compliance with Ethical Standards


No external funding was used in the preparation of this manuscript

Conflict of interest

DFH received Travel Reimbursement and honoraria for Speeches and consultancy from Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Roche, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Bristol Myers Squibb, Astra Zeneca, AbbVie and Takeda. MR received Travel Reimbursement and honoraria for Speeches and consultancy from Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Roche, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Bristol Myers Squibb, Astra Zeneca, AbbVie, Amgen and Takeda.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pulmonary MedicineHelios Klinik SchleswigSchleswigGermany
  2. 2.University of Kiel, School of MedicineKielGermany
  3. 3.Department of OncologyLungenClinic GrosshansdorfGrosshansdorfGermany
  4. 4.Airway Research Center North in the German Center for Lung Research (DZL)GrosshansdorfGermany

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