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Louisa Liu, Yanghee Woo, Massimo D’Apuzzo, Laleh Melstrom, Mustafa Raoof, Yu Liang, Michelle Afkhami, Stanley R. Hamilton, and Joseph Chao

Despite the use of first-line therapies like fluoropyrimidine and platinum-based cytotoxic chemotherapy, gastric cancer (GC) continues to carry a poor prognosis. Recent subgroup analyses of first-line phase III trials have demonstrated that patients with microsatellite instability–high (MSI-H) metastatic GC derive significant improvement in survival rates when immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are combined with chemotherapy compared with chemotherapy alone. However, it remains to be seen whether the success of ICIs in the metastatic setting can be translated into earlier stages of GC with resectable disease. We report 6 cases of locally advanced, nonmetastatic MSI-H GC that all demonstrated favorable response following treatment with pembrolizumab in addition to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. With the exception of immune-related colitis in one patient, pembrolizumab was well-tolerated. To our knowledge, this is the first reported US case series of patients treated with an ICI in combination with neoadjuvant chemotherapy for advanced, nonmetastatic, resectable or unresectable MSI-H GC.