Multidisciplinary Management of Stage III Lung Cancer

Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD; Kristin Higgins, MD; Allan Pickens, MD


June 02, 2021

Approximately one third of patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) initially present with stage III disease, which is highly heterogeneous and associated with a 5-year survival rate ranging from 13% to 36%.

There are various ways in which stage III lung cancer presents, including nodal involvement and direct invasion of the tumor into key structures within the thorax.

In this ReCAP, a multidisciplinary team from Emory University outlines three major treatment modalities available for stage III lung cancer: systemic therapy, radiation, and surgery. Often, patients will receive multiple treatment modalities over the course of their disease. The doctors report that the sequence of therapies is critical and frequently affects overall response and lung toxicities. The doctors also discuss the importance of accurate disease staging to determine best treatment approaches, and how a multidisciplinary approach involving experts in thoracic surgery, pathology, interventional pulmonology, and medical oncology can improve outcomes and quality of life for these patients.


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