Non-small cell lung cancer has seen an unprecedented augmentation of therapeutic options over the last couple of years. Improved understanding of molecular drivers and the role of the immune system in cancer therapy have brought new drugs to the armamentarium. Despite these advances, cytotoxic chemotherapy remains a substantial part of therapy for most patients in locally advanced and metastatic stage. Initially thought to be a chemotherapy-resistant entity, meta-analyses in the mid-1990s demonstrated modest efficacy of platinum-based therapy. Further combination trials demonstrated enhanced efficacy for several regimen in first and second lines, including the introduction of antimetabolites, taxanes, and anti-angiogenic agents. Maintenance chemotherapy has been another novel, successful approach for management of metastatic disease. Herein, we summarize the current concepts of chemotherapy, its applicability to the different histologies, and novel concepts of therapy.