Overview of the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer
- Rogerio C Lilenbaum, MD, FACP
Rogerio C Lilenbaum, MD, FACP
- Section Editor — Lung Cancer
- Yale Cancer Center
Treatment of patients with lung cancer depends upon the cell type (non-small cell versus small cell), tumor stage, molecular characteristics, and an assessment of the patient's overall medical condition. (See "Overview of the initial evaluation, treatment and prognosis of lung cancer".)
Patients with stage I, II, or III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are generally treated with curative intent using surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy (RT), or a combined modality approach (table 1). (See "Management of stage I and stage II non-small cell lung cancer" and "Management of stage III non-small cell lung cancer".)
Systemic therapy is generally indicated for patients who present with advanced disease, including those who present with metastases (stage IV) or recur following initial definitive treatment. For patients with a solitary metastasis, surgical resection or definitive irradiation of the metastasis may be appropriate. Systemic therapy and/or metastasectomy is also used for patients who have relapsed with advanced disease following prior definitive treatment. (See "Oligometastatic non-small cell lung cancer".)
This topic presents an overview of the management of patients with advanced NSCLC. More detailed discussions of specific issues are presented in the relevant topics, as indicated below.
The goals of patient management for patients with advanced NSCLC are to prolong survival and to maintain the quality of life for as long as possible, while minimizing the side effects due to treatment. The approach should recognize the palliative intent of treatment.
- NCCN guidelines http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp#site.
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- GENERAL APPROACH
- INITIAL SYSTEMIC THERAPY
- Driver mutation absent
- - Initial regimen
- - Maintenance therapy
- Driver mutation status unknown
- Driver mutation present
- - EGFR mutation positive
- - ALK fusion oncogene positive
- - Other mutations
- SUBSEQUENT TREATMENT
- ELDERLY AND POOR PERFORMANCE STATUS PATIENTS
- No driver mutation
- Driver mutation present
- MANAGEMENT OF SPECIFIC METASTATIC SITES
- Oligometastatic disease
- Bone metastases
- - Treatment
- - Prevention of complications
- Central nervous system metastases
- - Brain metastases
- - Leptomeningeal metastases
- SYMPTOM PALLIATION
- PALLIATIVE CARE
- INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS