Preoperative and Postoperative Systemic Therapy for Operable Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

J Clin Oncol. 2022 Feb 20;40(6):546-555. doi: 10.1200/JCO.21.01589. Epub 2022 Jan 5.


Cisplatin-based adjuvant chemotherapy remains the standard of care for patients with resected stage II or III non-small-cell lung cancer. However, biomarker-informed clinical trials are starting to push the management of early-stage lung cancer beyond cytotoxic chemotherapy. This review explores recent and ongoing studies focused on improving cytotoxic chemotherapy and incorporating targeted and immunotherapies in the management of early-stage, resectable lung cancer. Adjuvant osimertinib for patients with EGFR-mutant tumors, preoperative chemoimmunotherapy, and adjuvant immunotherapy could improve outcomes for selected patients with resectable lung cancer, and ongoing or planned studies leveraging biomarkers, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy may further improve survival. We also discuss the unique barriers associated with clinical trials of early-stage lung cancer and the need for innovative trial designs to overcome these challenges.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / therapy*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy* / mortality
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pneumonectomy* / adverse effects
  • Pneumonectomy* / mortality
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents