REVIEW – October 2009

Multimodal treatment of non-small cell lung cancer


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Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer. Majory of cases (90%) comprise squamous cell cancer, adenocarcinoma and large cell cancer, collectively known as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Treatment of NSCLC is based on the stage of disease. Stage I and II NSCLC are treated by surgery. Postoperative chemotherapy should be added starting from stage IB. For stage I I I, several treatment combinations are appropriate: surgery with subsequent chemotherapy,  preoperative chemotherapy followed by surgery, preoperative radiochemotherapy followed by surgery or definitive radiochemotherapy. Palliative radiotherapy and surgery are additional treatment options for stage IV disease in conjunction with pallative chemotherapy. Treatment of NSCLC is clearly multimodal. Treatment choice should be based on individual patient characteristics and should be made by an experienced multidisciplinary team.