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Guidelines on Treatment of Stage IIIB Non-small Cell Lung Cancer*

James R. Jett, MD, FCCP; Walter J. Scott, MD, FCCP; M. Patricia Rivera, MD, FCCP; William T. Sause, MD, FACR
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*From the Mayo Clinic (Dr. Jett), Rochester, MN; Section of Thoracic Surgical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center (Dr. Scott), Philadelphia, PA; University of North Carolina (Dr. Rivera), Chapel Hill, NC; LDS Hospital, University of Utah (Dr. Sause), Salt Lake City, UT.

Correspondence to: James R. Jett, MD, FCCP, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street Southwest, Rochester, MN 55905;



Chest. 2003;123(1_suppl):221S-225S. doi:10.1378/chest.123.1_suppl.221S
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Stage IIIB includes patients with T4, any N, M0, and any T, N3, M0. Surgery may be indicated only for carefully selected T4N0M0 patients with or without neoadjuvant chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy. Patients with N3 lymph node involvement are not considered as surgical candidates. For patients with unresectable disease, good performance score, and minimal weight loss, treatment with combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy has resulted in better survival than treatment with radiotherapy alone. Multiple daily fractions of radiotherapy have not resulted in improved survival compared with standard fractionation once daily. Concurrent chemoradiotherapy appears to be associated with improved survival compared with sequential chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Treatment of stage IIIB due to malignant pleural effusion is addressed in the section that deals with stage IV disease.


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