Fast Five Quiz: Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer Management

Daniel S. Schwartz, MD, MBA


February 03, 2021

Adjuvant chemotherapy may confer a survival benefit in resected stage IIA, IIB, and IIIA NSCLC. Some trials have shown a survival advantage with adjuvant chemotherapy of 5%-10%.

At present, chemotherapy alone has no role in potentially curative therapy for NSCLC. NSCLC is only moderately sensitive to chemotherapy, with single-agent response rates typically in the range of 15%. Newer agents (eg, gemcitabine, pemetrexed, docetaxel, vinorelbine) have shown promising single-agent activity, with response rates of 20%-25%.

Chemotherapy may play a role in the palliative treatment of NSCLC. For example, it may be used alone in the palliative treatment of stage IIIB NSCLC (owing to malignant pleural effusion) and stage IV NSCLC.

Platinum-based chemotherapy is the current standard of care for NSCLC. Cisplatin is preferred for younger patients and those with a good performance status, or in the adjuvant setting; in older patients or those with significant comorbidities, carboplatin may be substituted.

Learn more about chemotherapy in the management of NSCLC.


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