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Combined Modality Therapy for Unresectable Stage III Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer*: New Chemotherapy Combinations

Chandra P. Belani, MD
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*From the Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA.

Correspondence to: Chandra P. Belani, MD, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 200 Lothrop St, MUH N-725, Pittsburgh, PA 15213; e-mail: belanicp@msx.upmc.edu



Chest. 2000;117(4_suppl_1):127S-132S. doi:10.1378/chest.117.4_suppl_1.127S
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Over the last decade, we have witnessed improved outcome among patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), principally through the use of new and novel treatment programs. A meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials comparing combined chemotherapy and radiation to radiation therapy alone clearly has shown a survival benefit with platinum-based combination chemotherapy administered sequentially or concurrently with thoracic radiation therapy over radiation therapy alone. In addition, combining thoracic radiation therapy with novel drugs or new drug combinations has yielded improvements in median survival duration and long-term survival rates in locally advanced unresectable NSCLC. Paclitaxel and carboplatin are two novel agents that have undergone extensive clinical evaluation at various doses and schedules in combination with thoracic radiation therapy in patients with locally advanced disease. There remains a need, however, for further improvement in metastatic control and prevention of locoregional recurrences. This will likely be achieved through the optimization of chemotherapy regimens to be used in combined modality therapy with thoracic radiation therapy.


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