The role of radiation, with or without chemotherapy, in the management of NSCLC

Anuradha Chakravarthy, David Johnson, Hak Choy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Surgery is the treatment of choice for early stage patients. Despite radical surgery, patients with early stage lung cancer remain at risk for recurrence. The role of adjuvant therapy remains to be clearly defined. Locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer is too extensive for surgical resection, yet does not show evidence of metastatic disease. Historically, these patients were treated with radiation alone. More recent studies have provided the rationale for combining radiation with chemotherapy for patients with good performance status who have locally advanced disease. For patients with marginally resectable tumors, treatment is often given preoperatively (neoadjuvant) as a means of shrinking the tumor to make it resectable. In patients with clearly unresectable disease, radiation with chemotherapy has been established as better than either modality alone. Palliative radiation alone can be used for patients who cannot tolerate this aggressive approach. The optimal sequencing, as well as the best chemotherapeutic agent to use, remains under investigation. Some of the newer agents showing promise in the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer include paclitaxel (Taxol) and carboplatin (Paraplatin). Other agents that. are currently under investigation include topotecan, gemcitabine, and vinorelbine (Navelbine).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
Issue number10 SUPPL. 5
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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