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Open Access Commentary

Advanced non-small cell lung cancer: on relapse rechallenge the tumor, not the patient

Marios E Froudarakis1* and Evangelos Briasoulis2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pneumonology, Medical School of Alexandroupolis, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece

2 Department of Medical Oncology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Greece

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BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:195  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-195

Published: 14 July 2010

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the world. The majority of NSCLC patients are diagnosed with advanced-stage disease and almost all except a tiny minority will develop incurable metastatic disease. The standard of care for such patients with a good performance status (PS) is currently platinum based chemotherapy, which can offer palliation of symptoms but only modest survival improvement [1-3]. Nearly all patients who receive systemic therapy for advanced-metastatic NSCLC will eventually relapse [4]. This is an unquestionable reality. Physicians who deal with medical management of NSCLC patients who failed first line therapy are often puzzled with three key questions: if, what, and whom, to offer a second line therapy. Existing evidence is unfortunately weak, if not confusing, to address such issues. It is therefore apparent that for optimal medical management of these patients we need molecular and/or clinical biomarkers to safe-guide therapeutic decisions.