David S. Ettinger, MD, FACP | Authors



Managing the Patient With Borderline Resectable Lung Cancer

March 15, 2010

Despite recent therapeutic advances, lung cancer continues to be one of the leading causes of cancer-related mortality. Of the various histologic subtypes, non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common-accounting for approximately 85% of all lung cancers-and will be the focus of this article. In general, the treatment of lung cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, systemic therapy (eg, chemotherapy with or without targeted therapy), or a combination of the above. Surgery continues to offer the best chance of long-term cure. The initial treatment of stage I and II NSCLC usually entails surgical resection, whereas stage IV disease is primarily treated with systemic agents, in light of the lack of curative potential with surgery and/or radiation therapy alone. It is locally advanced NSCLC, including stage IIIA and IIIB disease, that continues to pose a therapeutic dilemma, given its heterogeneous nature.

Thirty Years Later: We've Only Just Begun

November 17, 2006

The standard of care with regard to adjuvant chemotherapy of lung cancer has changed remarkably over the past 3 years. Until the initial report of the International Adjuvant Lung Trial in 2003, there was no real evidence from any individual randomized clinical trial (RCT) that adjuvant chemotherapy improves survival in resectable non-small-cell lung cancer. However, five RCTs that have now been reported indicate that adjuvant chemotherapy is effective, at least in certain subgroups of resectable patients. Moreover, numerous meta-analyses have also reported a positive effect from adjuvant treatment. Nonetheless, because of methodologic issues and conflicting results, the question of who should be treated and what constitutes optimal adjuvant therapy remains controversial. This article reviews the recent randomized trials that have contributed to a change in the state of the art, as well as some of the methodologic problems that may have confounded their proper interpretation. It also considers newer approaches to adjuvant therapy, with a particular focus on strategies that incorporate our growing knowledge of molecular medicine and predictive factors to the field of adjuvant chemotherapy of lung cancer.

Overview and State of the Art in the Management of Lung Cancer

June 01, 2004

Lung cancer is a major health problem worldwide. Non–small-celllung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for 80% to 85% of all lung cancers,while small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) accounts for 15% to 20% of cases.For early-stage and locally advanced NSCLC (stages I through III), amultimodality treatment approach is appropriate because it improvessurvival. Combination chemotherapy is currently the standard treatmentfor good performance patients with metastatic disease. Elderlypatients (≥ 70 years) with metastatic NSCLC also benefit from treatment.In SCLC, concurrent radiation therapy and chemotherapy is thestandard for limited disease, while chemotherapy is the treatment forextensive disease. Novel innovative therapies, which could includemolecular targeting agents, are needed to treat both NSCLC and SCLC.

Gemcitabine/Alimta in Locally Advanced or Metastatic Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer

July 01, 2000

The search for new combination chemotherapeutic regimens for the treatment of non–small-cell lung cancer is motivated not only by the desire to increase the objective tumor response and survival rates, but also by the desire

Combined Chemoradiation Therapy for Limited-Stage Small-Cell Lung Cancer

October 01, 1999

After nearly 4 decades of use in treating small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), thoracic radiation has become integral to the management of limited-stage disease. Many prospective randomized trials have demonstrated that adding

Small-Cell Lung Cancer: Treatment Progress and Prospects

May 01, 1998

Cark and Ihde have written an excellent review of small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). My commentary will provide some additional information, as well as explore several issues that require clarification.

Recent Advances With Chemotherapy for NSCLC: The ECOG Experience

January 02, 1998

Management of disseminated non-small-cell lung cancer has changed over the past 10 years. Newer agents, such as vinorelbine (Navelbine) and paclitaxel (Taxol), have been shown to modestly improve survival in patients with

The Role of Carboplatin in the Treatment of Small-Cell Lung Cancer

January 02, 1998

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death due to cancer in the United States, and approximately 178,100 new cases were estimated to occur last year. Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) accounts for approximately 17% to 25% of all lung cancers. Due to its aggressive nature and rapid proliferation rate, small-cell lung cancer is usually widespread at diagnosis. Therefore, chemotherapy is the cornerstone of therapy for this disease. Cisplatin (Platinol) is an active chemotherapeutic agent used to treat small-cell lung cancer, but its toxicity, including nausea and vomiting, nephrotoxicity, neurotoxicity, and ototoxicity, has led to the investigation of combination regimens with different toxicity profiles. Carboplatin (Paraplatin), a derivative of cisplatin, has far less nonhematologic toxicity, although myelosuppression may be slightly greater than that observed with cisplatin. The reduced toxicity and equivalent efficacy of carboplatin have resulted in the increased use of carboplatin-based regimens to treat small-cell lung cancer. Phase I and II trials of carboplatin as single-agent treatment for small-cell lung cancer resulted in overall response rates of approximately 60% for previously untreated patients and 17% for those who had received prior therapy. New combination chemotherapy regimens that include carboplatin may improve survival in patients with small-cell lung cancer and potentially cure those patients with limited disease. Further investigation of carboplatin and other new agents is warranted.[ONCOLOGY 12(Suppl 2):36-43, 1998]