Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Early-Stage and Locally Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

  • Sonam Puri
  • Michael Shafique
  • Jhanelle E. GrayEmail author
Lung Cancer (HA Wakelee, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Lung Cancer

Opinion statement

Surgical resection ± chemotherapy ± radiation or stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) are established treatment modalities for resectable stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and concurrent chemotherapy with radiation is the therapy of choice for unresectable locally advanced disease. Despite treatment with curative intent, most patients subsequently relapse and develop distant disease. Treatment with checkpoint inhibitors represents a major advancement in the treatment of metastatic NSCLC. Therapy against programed cell death-1/programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) is associated with a significant improvement in overall survival in stage IV disease, and these results have led to a great interest in evaluating these agents in earlier-stage NSCLC. The preliminary data from ongoing trials suggest that the integration of checkpoint blockage into the treatment of early-stage and locally advanced NSCLC is safe, tolerable, and has the potential to improve outcomes without adding substantial toxicity. In the current review, we provide an overview of the emerging data on the role of PD-1/PD-L1 and cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) inhibitors in the treatment of early-stage and locally advanced NSCLC, with a focus on ongoing clinical trials and combination strategies.


Checkpoint inhibitors Adjuvant Neoadjuvant Non-small cell lung cancer 



We thank Sonya J. Smyk, Moffitt Cancer Center, for editorial support. She received no compensation beyond her regular salary.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Sonam Puri declares that she has no conflict of interest. Michael Shafique has served on advisory boards for GlaxoSmithKline. Jhanelle E. Gray has received research funding through grants from Merck, AstraZeneca, Genentech, and Bristol-Myers Squibb, and has served on advisory boards for AstraZeneca.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonam Puri
    • 1
  • Michael Shafique
    • 2
  • Jhanelle E. Gray
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology and OncologyH. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute/University of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Thoracic OncologyH. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research InstituteTampaUSA

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