Ernest Nadal presents at ASCO the benefits of treating patients with lung cancer and brain metastases with chemo-immunotherapy

  • A group from IDIBELL, Catalan Institute of Oncology, and the Spanish Lung Cancer Group (GECP) have shown that the combination of atezolizumab with carboplatin and pemetrexed is safe and effective as a first treatment option in a group of 40 patients.
  • After three months, 62% of the patients showed no progression in the brain or the rest of the body tumors. In addition, brain metastases remained stable for about seven months, more than twice that with conventional treatment.
  • The study, the first worldwide to test the combination of chemotherapy with immunotherapy in this group of patients, presented the two-year follow-up data at the American Congress of Oncology (ASCO).
  • The study was designed by a multidisciplinary team from the Bellvitge campus made up of Dr. Ernest Nadal (Medical Oncology), Dr. Jordi Bruna and Dr. Marta Simó (Neuro-Oncology), and Valentín Navarro (Clinical Research Unit).
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A study led by Dr. Ernest Nadal, head of the IDIBELL research group, and presented at the American Congress of Oncology (ASCO), demonstrated the efficacy and safety of chemo-immunotherapy combination drugs for patients with lung cancer and asymptomatic and previously untreated brain metastases.

A total of 40 patients from 11 Spanish hospital centers participated in the study. All included patients had not been previously treated with chemotherapy and had not received treatment for brain metastases.

Three months after the treatment, 62% of the patients were still alive without disease progression, neither in the brain nor in the rest of the body. In addition, brain metastases remained stable in half of the patients for 6.9 months, more than twice that with usual treatment.

The treatment was well-tolerated, and the pre-established limit of intolerable toxicity was not reached. Toxicity was as expected from chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

In summary, the important thing to highlight from this study is that treatment with atezolizumab plus carboplatin and pemetrexed was safe and produced very promising results in containing brain metastases in this type of patient, an aspect that had not been investigated with enough detail”, says Dr. Ernest Nadal, from IDIBELL, ICO and the Spanish Lung Cancer Group (GECP).

Text adapted from Spanish Lung Cancer Group: Link



The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).

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