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Langer CJ
The role of new agents in advanced non-small-cell lung carcinoma
Curr Oncol Rep. 2000 Jan;2(1) :76-89
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Over the past 5 to 7 years, new and promising systemic agents have entered the therapeutic armamentarium in the treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. In particular, the taxanes, irinotecan, vinorelbine, and gemcitabine, have each been shown to perturb the natural history of this disease. In combination with cisplatin, these agents have yielded improvements in response rates and in survival, compared with either cisplatin alone or with older platinum combinations, with consistent 1-year survival rates of 30% to 40% or more and response rates exceeding 25%. Other factors may also be responsible for improved survival rates, including patient selection, improved supportive care, and more extensive screening procedures, such as CT and positron emission tomography, which have resulted in stage migration. Future directions will focus on the role of nonplatinum combinations, particularly in the elderly and in patients with compromised performance status; salvage therapy in patients with intact performance status; quality of life and quality adjusted survival; and the role of new biologic agents, which alter the tumor milieu and may be readily integrated into standard cytotoxic regimens. Except for unfit or unwilling patients, there is no room for therapeutic nihilism.
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