What are the treatment recommendations for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) stage III?

Updated: Mar 08, 2021
  • Author: Marvaretta M Stevenson, MD; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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Treatment recommendations include the use of concurrent chemotherapy and radiation, or chemotherapy and radiation can be given sequentially if necessary. Selected patients (predominantly those with stage IIIa) may be surgical candidates; these patients may receive chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy with radiation before surgical resection. Stage IIIa and IIIb disease are typically treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation if the patient is not a surgical candidate.

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are preferably given concurrently, but in patients with poor performance status, these therapies may be given sequentially; the decision to treat the patient with concurrent chemoradiation rather than surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy individually should be made by a multidisciplinary tumor board (including a medical oncologist, radiation therapist, and thoracic surgeon). [7, 11, 12]

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