Even when diagnosed at the earliest stages, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has often begun to metasize, leading to frequent systemic relapses and a poor prognosis. There is an urgent need for effective adjuvant systemic therapy in conjunction with surgery to reverse or control further growth of micrometastases in early-stage NSCLC. Several approaches have been investigated in the search for such a therapy, including various chemotherapies, applied preoperatively or postoperatively, chemopreventive agents, and molecular-targeted agents. This article presents an overview of clinical trials for these adjunctive therapies, including completed trials and trials whose results are anticipated. Although standard postoperative chemotherapy has been found to offer little benefit, likely because of the acquisition of resistance in advanced tumors, some clinical trials with neoadjuvant or alternative chemotherapies have produced encouraging results. Targeted agents such as the epidermal growth factor receptor/tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib have shown early promise for effective disease control. A combination of these new approaches and standard therapy for NSCLC may improve long-term survival in patients with lung cancer.
- Radiation therapy
- Tyrosine kinase inhibitor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cancer Research