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

Updated: Jul 15, 2021
  • Author: Marvaretta M Stevenson, MD; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Stage IIIa and IIIb disease are typically treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation if the patient is not a surgical candidate. Selected patients (predominantly those with stage IIIa) may be surgical candidates; these patients may receive chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy with radiation before surgical resection. 

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 a 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, 13, 14]


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