Local ablative therapies in oligometastatic NSCLC-upfront or outback?—a narrative review

Michael C. Tjong, Alexander V. Louie, Puneeth Iyengar, Benjamin J. Solomon, David A. Palma, Shankar Siva

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Patients with oligometastatic (OM) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have favorable outcomes compared to patients presenting with diffuse metastatic disease. Recent randomized trials have demonstrated safety and efficacy signals for local ablative therapies with radiotherapy, surgery, or radiofrequency ablation for OM-NSCLC patients alongside systemic therapies. However, it remains unclear whether local ablative therapy (LAT) should be offered either upfront preceding systemic therapies or following initial systemic therapies as local consolidative therapy (LCT). Establishing optimal timing of RT and systemic therapy combinations is essential to maximize efficacy while maintaining safety. Most published randomized trial evidence surrounding the benefits of LAT and systemic therapies were generated from OM-NSCLC patients receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy agents. With increasing use of novel agents such as targeted therapies (i.e., tyrosine kinase inhibitors) and immune checkpoint inhibitors in management of metastatic NSCLC patients, LAT timing may need to be modulated based on the use of specific agents. This narrative review will discuss the current evidence on either upfront LAT or LCT for OM-NSCLC based on published trials and cohort studies. We briefly explored the possible biological mechanisms of the potential clinical advantages of either approach. This review also summarized the ongoing trials incorporating both upfront LAT and LCT, and considerations for future LAT strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3446-3456
Number of pages11
JournalTranslational Lung Cancer Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Local ablative therapy (LAT)
  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
  • Oligometastatic (OM)
  • Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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