Concurrent chemoradiotherapy for unresectable stage III non-small cell lung cancer

Clin Cancer Res. 2005 Jul 1;11(13 Pt 2):5045s-5050s. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-05-9008.


Over the last two decades, several approaches to multimodality therapy have been investigated in patients with advanced unresectable non-small cell lung cancer. These include induction chemotherapy and concurrent chemoradiotherapy. Both approaches have been shown to be superior to radiation therapy alone. However, in several randomized trials, concomitant chemoradiotherapy was shown to be superior to the induction chemotherapy approach. It has been hypothesized that the addition of systemic dose sequential chemotherapy to concurrent chemoradiotherapy, either as induction or as consolidation chemotherapy, might further improve survival rates. Recently, the Cancer and Leukemia Group B reported on a randomized phase III trial directly evaluating the addition of two cycles of carboplatin and paclitaxel to concurrent chemoradiotherapy. In this study, induction chemotherapy failed to further improve survival rates of concurrent chemoradiotherapy. A previously conducted randomized phase II study also suggested no benefit from the addition of induction chemotherapy to concomitant chemoradiotherapy. Favorable phase II data have been published supporting the use of consolidation chemotherapy. However, to date, no large randomized study evaluating a possible benefit from consolidation chemotherapy has been completed. In addition to evaluating optimal sequencing strategies of combined modality therapy, current investigations are also focusing on the integration of novel agents, including chemotherapeutic and targeted therapies. Currently ongoing trials involving novel approaches are reviewed here.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / radiotherapy*
  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic
  • Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic