The promising results of crizotinib in molecularly selected patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumor cells had a novel fusion protein involving anaplastic lymphoma kinase presented at the 2010 American Society of Clinical Oncology reinforce once again the importance of understanding molecular heterogeneity of lung cancer and careful patient selection. Several other important issues were the subject of presentations related to lung cancer at the recently concluded American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting. The articles covered a wide variety of topics including optimal staging techniques to detect mediastinal nodal involvement, the role of platinum-based doublet chemotherapy in the management of elderly patients with advanced NSCLC, use of maintenance therapy with gemcitabine, and the impact of early introduction of organized palliative care in improving the quality of life of patients with advanced NSCLC. This report provides a brief overview of the presentations related to lung cancer that are relevant to clinical practice and future research.
- Locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer
- Maintenance chemotherapy
- Palliative care
- Superior sulcus tumors