Treating advanced NSCLC

Who treats NSCLC, including advanced NSCLC?

The following specialized doctors may be involved in your care and can help determine the right treatment options for you.

Thoracic surgeons: Doctors who treat diseases of the lungs and chest with surgery.
Radiation oncologists: Doctors who treat cancer with radiation therapy.
Medical oncologists: Doctors who treat cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.
Pulmonologists: Doctors who diagnose and treat diseases of the respiratory system including the lungs and other organs that help you breathe.
Patient portrayal

How is advanced NSCLC treated?

The treatment options for NSCLC are based mainly on the stage and extent of the cancer. Other factors, such as your overall health and lung function, as well as certain traits of the cancer itself, are also important.
Advanced NSCLC can be treated by surgery

Surgery

An operation to remove tumors. It is most commonly used in early-stage NSCLC.
Advanced NSCLC can be treated by radiation

Radiation therapy

A type of cancer treatment that uses beams of intense energy, most often X-rays, to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation therapy is given by a radiation oncologist.
Advanced NSCLC can be treated with chemotherapy

Chemotherapy

A form of systemic drug therapy (a type of drug that moves through the body) that kills cells that divide or grow too fast. These include cancer cells but may also include normal cells. Chemotherapy may be used before or after surgery, in combination with radiation therapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapies, and/or other agents.

Chemoradiation therapy

A combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Advanced NSCLC can be treated with targeted therapies

Targeted therapies

A form of systemic drug therapy aimed at certain changes that make cancer cells different (abnormal). These therapies work by interfering with specific “targets” that are involved in the growth, progression, and spread of cancer cells.
Advanced NSCLC can be treated with immunotherapy

Immunotherapy

A form of systemic drug therapy that may help your immune system fight cancer. Your body might not attack cancer because the cancer cells have developed ways to avoid the immune system and keep growing. Immunotherapy helps the immune system recognize, attack, and kill the cancer cells. Immunotherapy is given by an oncologist and often used during the advanced stages (stages 3 and 4). It is not chemotherapy.

Immunotherapy can cause your immune system to attack normal organs and tissues in your body, which may cause serious side effects.

Finding treatment through
biomarker testing.

Learn about biomarkers and testing