When is chemotherapy considered in the treatment of locally advanced 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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Answer

Chemotherapy may be considered as part of multimodality therapy for locally advanced NSCLC and is used alone in the palliative treatment of stage IIIB NSCLC (owing to malignant pleural effusion) and stage IV NSCLC. [64] In advanced NSCLC, patients with good performance status (ie, 0-2 on the Zubrod or Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group [ECOG] scale) or greater than 70% on the Karnofsky scale; see the table below), and less than 10% body weight loss are good candidates for chemotherapy.

Non–small cell lung cancer. Performance status sca Non–small cell lung cancer. Performance status scales for patients with cancer.

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