What to Know About Treatment Options Before and After Surgery for Early-Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

November 7, 2023
Brielle Gregory Collins, ASCO staff

For people diagnosed with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who will be receiving surgery, the doctor may recommend additional treatments given either before or after the procedure. Early-stage lung cancer is cancer that is stage I through stage III. These additional treatments may include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of therapies. When treatment is given before surgery, it is called “neoadjuvant therapy.” When treatment is given after surgery, it is called “adjuvant therapy.”

In this podcast, Charu Aggarwal, MD, MPH, and Ryan Gentzler, MD, discuss what people with early-stage NSCLC should know about their neoadjuvant and adjuvant treatment options, including what to consider when choosing treatment and questions to ask the health care team.

  • What are neoadjuvant therapy and adjuvant therapy? [02:13]

  • Why should people with early-stage NSCLC consider neoadjuvant therapy? [05:21]

  • What research has been done on neoadjuvant treatments for people with early-stage NSCLC? [09:03]

  • What questions should people with early-stage NSCLC ask their health care team when considering neoadjuvant therapy? [15:05]

  • When do doctors typically recommend adjuvant treatment for people with early-stage NSCLC? [21:08]

  • Why is it important to consider whether tests show certain mutations, such as an EGFR mutation, when discussing adjuvant treatment options? [22:28]

  • What are some of the approved adjuvant treatment options for people with early-stage NSCLC? [24:29]

Dr. Aggarwal is the Leslye Heisler Associate Professor of Medicine in the Hematology-Oncology Division at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. She is also the 2023 Cancer.Net Associate Editor for Lung Cancer. Dr. Gentzler is a thoracic medical oncologist and Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Virginia (UVA) Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is also the 2023 Cancer.Net Specialty Editor for Thymoma.

Disclosure information for Dr. Aggarwal and Dr. Gentzler can be found in their individual biographies linked to in the paragraph above.

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