Looking back and to the future: Are we improving 'cure' in non-small cell lung cancer?
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In surgical series, cancer-free survival at 5 years is often referred to as a cure. In recent years, attempts to improve cure rates in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have focussed on earlier diagnosis through cost-effective screening programs. Systemic therapies have historically added only a small benefit to overall survival in both the adjuvant and palliative setting. However, in the last two decades, the development of new treatment options has added incremental improvements in NSCLC survival rates. Patients with a targetable sensitising mutation including epidermal growth factor receptor gene mutations and anaplastic lymphoma kinase rearrangements have significantly better prognosis, and many will survive beyond 5 years. Immunotherapy is an effective treatment in selected patients with NSCLC and is set to cause another leap in 5 year survival rates. Although these patients are not free from disease, survival at 5 years may become the more important end-point as NSCLC becomes seen as a chronic oncological disease.
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Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung
Treatment of thoracic tumours
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Eur J Cancer, 2017, 75 pp. 192 - 194