GRACE :: Lung Cancer



Stage IV Non small cell Lung Cancer in the Elderly: Review of Data and update on the Published results of the French IFCT-0501 (Quoix) trial



When I wrote my first review article on the treatment of the elderly, I entitled it, “NSCLC in the elderly—the legacy of therapeutic neglect.” Dr. Corey Langer and I chose the title to directly criticize the major mistake that we perceive in the treatment of the fit elderly—a therapeutic nihilism that leads oncologists to not give sufficiently aggressive treatment to the fit elderly. Lung cancer is a terrible cancer and failure to suppress it with sufficiently active therapy leads to great suffering. This is as true in the older patient as in the younger patient. However, there is great misunderstanding about the efficacy of therapy in the fit elderly patient, the subject of this post. I will seek to summarize coverage of this topic on GRACE previously, highlighting the now published French data on 1st line treatment of the elderly. You may have noted the repeated use of the word, “fit.” Not all elderly patients are as fit as younger patients—aging brings with it more medical problems and more pills; not all elderly patients are as fit as younger patients with lung cancer. I will address this topic in a follow up post dedicated to this important topic.

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Dr West

Lung Cancer FAQ: My advanced NSCLC has progressed after initial chemo. What are the leading options now?


In the last decade, the treatment of NSCLC has evolved very significantly, and one of the leading ways has been that we’ve gone from having no established role for treatment after initial, first line therapy to having multiple agents with a proven benefit.

It’s worth clarifying that as maintenance therapy is increasingly being considered as an option after first line therapy, a distinction between this and second line therapy. Maintenance therapy is given to prolong the period before someone who has achieved a response or stable disease on first line treatment demonstrates progression for the first time, while second line therapy is the term more commonly reserved for treatment after someone has demonstrated evidence of progression for the first time after first line therapy.

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