Chemotherapy uses powerful medicines to
kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is the most effective therapy for
small cell lung cancer. It can help control the growth and spread of the
cancer, but it cures lung cancer in only a small number of people. Chemotherapy
also may be used to treat more advanced stages of
non-small cell lung cancer.
Chemotherapy is called a systemic
treatment because the medicines enter your bloodstream, travel through your
body, and kill cancer cells both inside and outside the lung area. Some
chemotherapy drugs are taken by mouth (orally), while others are injected into
a vein (intravenous, or IV).
Forty percent of patients with newly diagnosed NSCLC have stage IV disease. Treatment goals are to prolong survival and control disease-related symptoms. Treatment options include cytotoxic chemotherapy and targeted agents. Factors influencing treatment selection include comorbidity, performance status (PS), histology, and molecular genetic features of the cancer. Radiation therapy and surgery are generally used in selective cases for symptom palliation.
Standard Treatment Options for Stage...
clinical trials have studied the different
chemotherapy medicines used to treat lung cancer. Your
oncologist will discuss and recommend chemotherapy treatment specific to your
condition. Some of the more common chemotherapy medicines include the
Chemotherapy may be given before surgery (neoadjuvant) or after surgery
(adjuvant therapy) to kill cancer cells.
If standard treatments are not
effective or are causing more side effects than desired, you may want to
consider being part of a
clinical trial. Many clinical trials are
studying the different combinations of chemotherapy medicines for the different
stages of lung cancer. Ask your oncologist what trials are available
for your lung cancer.