A substantial proportion of patients with nononcogene-addicted non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has 'aggressive disease', as reflected in short time to progression or lack of disease control with initial platinum-based chemotherapy. Recently, clinical correlates of aggressive disease behavior during first-line therapy have been shown to predict greater benefit from addition of nintedanib to second-line docetaxel in adenocarcinoma NSCLC. Positive predictive effects of aggressive disease have since been reported with other anti-angiogenic agents (ramucirumab and bevacizumab), while such features may negatively impact on outcomes with nivolumab in nonsquamous NSCLC with low PD-L1 expression. Based on a review of the clinical data, we recommend aggressive nonsquamous NSCLC should be defined by progression within <6-9 months of first-line treatment initiation.
Keywords: aggressive; anti-angiogenic therapy; non-small-cell lung cancer.