Which patients with stage IIIA non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) should be considered for definitive chemoradiation therapy?

Updated: Jul 15, 2021
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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Patients who have mediastinal node involvement (N2 or N3 stage) have poor results from surgery and hence should be considered for definitive chemoradiation therapy. Cisplatin-based combinations (eg, with etoposide) are preferred, with carboplatin an acceptable alternative in patients with contraindications to cisplatin. Radiation is usually given in daily fractions for a total of 60 Gy. A cone-down boost may be useful.

Hyperfractionation schedules appear to be better, but are not widely available. Further chemotherapy or surgery does not appear to provide significant survival benefit for in patients treated upfront with chemoradiation.

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