Factors influencing the use of chemotherapy for the initial (6 months) treatment of lung cancer in South East England were investigated. The variables explored as possibly influencing the use of chemotherapy were sex, age, the year of diagnosis, the type of lung cancer, the stage, the index of multiple deprivation and the cancer network of residence. Chi2 analysis and multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine the effect of each of the variables on the use of chemotherapy. The results showed a highly significant trend in use of chemotherapy over time; the adjusted proportion of patients receiving chemotherapy increasing from 13.6% in 1994 to 29.3% in 2003. However, age, cancer network and type of lung cancer had the strongest influence on the use of chemotherapy. This finding is important when we consider that the NHS Cancer Plan aims at improving inequalities in cancer care in the UK.