Neoadjuvant therapy for non-small cell lung cancer

David R Gandara, Primo N Lara, Z. Goldberg, P. Roberts, Derick H Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Clinical trials evaluating neoadjuvant or preoperative therapy for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have demonstrated the feasibility, tolerability and activity of this approach. Three randomized trials have reported improved survival in patients with stage III NSCLC treated with preoperative chemotherapy followed by surgical resection compared to surgery alone. Combinations of neoadjuvant chemotherapy plus thoracic radiotherapy have also been investigated, generally resulting in higher rates of pathologic response, but higher toxicity rates as well. The best approach to neoadjuvant therapy remains to be determined and may well be substage dependent. In bulky stage III NSCLC, the role of surgery itself remains unclear and is the subject of an ongoing Intergroup trial in the US. Regardless, neoadjuvant therapy has emerged as an important paradigm for clinical research since it serves as an in vivo test of chemosensitivity in patients, and represents a 'window of opportunity' for testing new chemotherapeutic agents and novel strategies. Among the new chemotherapeutic agents being investigated in this setting is docetaxel, one of the most active agents in first- and second-line chemotherapy of NSCLC, and a potent radiosensitizer. Preliminary studies have confirmed the feasibility of integrating docetaxel into neoadjuvant treatment strategies and encouraging results have been reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnti-Cancer Drugs
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Neoadjuvant therapy
  • Non-small cell lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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