Concurrent chemoradiation strategies in the management of unresectable stage III non-small-cell lung cancer

Primo N Lara, Zelanna Goldberg, Angela Davies, Derick H Lau, David R Gandara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Locally advanced or unresectable stage III non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with combined-modality therapy with chemotherapy plus thoracic radiation have improved survival compared to those treated with radiotherapy alone. Furthermore, recent studies in good performance status, stage III patients have shown that concurrent chemoradiotherapy improves survival compared to sequential chemoradiotherapy. However, the optimal chemoradiation approach continues to evolve and is the subject of this review. Since the majority of patients completing chemoradiotherapy will succumb to distant metastatic disease, active systemic agents targeting this tumor compartment are required. Recent data suggest that full-dose chemotherapy designed to eradicate distant micrometastases given either as induction or consolidation has the potential to yield improved patient outcomes. Many of these chemotherapeutic agents are also potent radiosensitizers, hence providing enhanced local control. The integration of these chemotherapeutic agents into chemoradiotherapy programs in stage III NSCLC is the focus of current trials. Ongoing research with novel therapeutic agents with activity against distant micrometastases, refined radiation techniques, and enhanced imaging methodologies to aid in accurate staging are being pursued and should lead to improved survival and toxicity outcomes in this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Lung Cancer
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Concurrent and sequential chemoradiation
  • Docetaxel
  • Gemcitabine
  • Irinotecan
  • Radiation therapy
  • Tirapazamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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