Neoadjuvant immunotherapy and chemotherapy have improved the major pathological response (MPR) in patients with early-stage operable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This study aimed to assess whether the presence of targetable driver mutations affects the efficacy of the combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy. We enrolled patients with early-stage operable NSCLC who received preoperative neoadjuvant therapy between January 1, 2017, and December 30, 2020. Neoadjuvant therapy was delivered with platinum-doublet chemotherapy; moreover, pembrolizumab was added at the attending physician’s discretion based on patient’s request. Pathological responses were assessed; moreover, disease-free survival was estimated. Next-generation sequencing was performed in case sufficient preoperative biopsy specimens were obtained. We included 23 patients; among them, 11 received a combination of neoadjuvant immunotherapy and chemotherapy while 12 received neoadjuvant chemotherapy alone. The MPR and pathological complete response rates were 54.5% and 27.3%, respectively, in patients who received a combination of neoadjuvant immunotherapy and chemotherapy. These rates were significantly higher than those in patients who only received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Three patients in the combination group experienced disease recurrence during the follow-up period even though two of them showed an MPR. These three patients had targetable driver mutations, including an EGFR exon 20 insertion, EGFR exon 21 L858R substitution, and MET exon 14 skipping. Only one patient who remained disease-free had a targetable driver mutation. Among patients with early-stage operable NSCLC requiring neoadjuvant therapy, comprehensive genomic profiling is crucial before the administration of the combination of neoadjuvant immunotherapy and chemotherapy.
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