What is the role of chemotherapy in the treatment of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)?

Updated: Jul 15, 2021
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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Approximately 80% of all patients with lung cancer are considered for chemotherapy at some point during the course of their illness. Multiple randomized, controlled trials and large meta-analyses all confirm the superiority of combination chemotherapy regimens up front for advanced NSCLC.

The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) guidelines recommend that first-line treatment for NSCLC include a platinum combination. In younger patients, with a good performance status or in the adjuvant setting, cisplatin is preferred, but in older patients or those with significant comorbidities, carboplatin may be substituted.

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