Game Changing Neoadjuvant Lung Trial Enrolls the Most People in the World

March 16, 2022 – Charleston Oncology’s Clinical Trials most recent non–small cell lung cancer trial enrolled the most people in the world. Gene Saylors, MD, oncologist and hematologist at Charleston Oncology, will present the positive findings at the American Association for Cancer Research 2022 Annual Meeting. “When administering a new trial, we are always cautiously optimistic,” says Dr. Gene Saylors. “The positive results of this Neoadjuvant Lung Trial resulted in rapid FDA approval due to its impressive outcomes.”

Neoadjuvant Opdivo (nivolumab) plus chemotherapy significantly improves event-free survival in patients with resectable Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer in Phase 3 CheckMate -816 Trial. The trial adds immunotherapy and chemotherapy for nine weeks before lung surgery. “The patients who had immunotherapy, when they went to surgery, 24% or nearly 1 in 4, the cancer was all gone. When you just gave chemotherapy for that same duration, in only 2% of the patients was the cancer gone. So, it’s just a game-changer,” Saylors said.

This protocol, called Checkmate 816, delivered significantly better outcomes than patients going straight to surgery. Per Bristol Myers Squibb’s November 2021 published findings, CheckMate -816 is the first Phase 3 trial with an immunotherapy-based combination to demonstrate improved event-free survival and pathologic complete response in the neoadjuvant setting of non-small cell lung cancer.

Positive results reinforce the improved efficacy of Opdivo-based treatments in four Phase 3 clinical trials in earlier-stage cancers, including lung cancer, bladder cancer, esophageal/gastroesophageal junction cancer, and melanoma.

Charleston Oncology provides the largest number of oncology and hematology clinical trials in the greater Charleston area. Located in West Ashley, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Downtown Peninsula Charleston, Summerville, and Walterboro, Charleston Oncology is a full-service oncology and hematology practice with eleven physicians. To schedule an appointment or learn more, visit

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