Radical treatment of non-small cell lung cancer during the last 5 years

Eur J Cancer. 2013 May;49(7):1555-64. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2012.12.023. Epub 2013 Jan 23.


The management of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has continued to improve over the last 5 years due to advances in surgery, radiological staging, combined modality therapies and advances in radiation technology. We have an updated staging classification (7th Edition American Joint Committee on Cancer staging) and now in 2011, a new histology classification introducing the concepts of adenocarcinoma in situ and minimally invasive adenocarcinoma. This classification has profound surgical implications as the role of limited resection is reconsidered for early stage lesions. Surgery is curative in early stage disease. The role of surgery in locally advanced NSCLC remains controversial. The principal aim is a complete resection as this will determine long-term prognosis. Intraoperative staging of lung cancer is extremely important to determine the extent of resection according to the tumour and nodal status. Systematic nodal dissection is generally advocated to obtain accurate intraoperative staging and to help decide on adjuvant therapy. Radiotherapy currently plays a major role in the management of lung cancer as most patients are not surgical candidates due to disease stage, fitness and co-morbidities. In the last 5 years we have seen continuing optimisation of chemo-radiotherapy combinations and technological advances including the development of image guided radiotherapy (IGRT), stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR) and intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). Quality of life evaluation is becoming increasingly important and should be considered when deciding on a specific treatment, especially in a multimodality setting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery
  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / therapy*
  • Chemoradiotherapy / methods*
  • Chemoradiotherapy / trends
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Neoplasm Staging / methods
  • Pneumonectomy / methods
  • Pneumonectomy / trends
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome