Treatment Options
Lung Cancer

i.    SCLC:

There are different types of treatment for patients with small cell lung cancer. A very small percentage of people who have limited-stage small cell lung cancer and no lymph node tumors may benefit from surgery, after which adjuvant chemotherapy is given.

Different types of treatment are available for patients with small cell lung cancer.

Five types of standard treatment are used:

Surgery
Surgery may be used if the cancer is found in one lung and in nearby lymph nodes only. Because this type of lung cancer is usually found in both lungs, surgery alone is not often used. Even if the doctor removes all the cancer that can be seen at the time of the operation, some patients may be given chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery to kill any cancer cells that are left, called adjuvant therapy.

Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. The way the chemotherapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.

Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. There are two types of radiation therapy. The way the radiation therapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.
Radiation therapy of the brain may be used before or after chemotherapy for some people whose cancer has spread to the brain.

Preventive Radiation Therapy to the Brain
In more than half of the people with small cell lung cancer, the cancer also spreads to the brain. For people whose lung cancer has responded to chemotherapy, doctors may prescribe radiation therapy to the brain to help prevent the cancer from spreading to the brain.

Laser therapy
Laser therapy is a cancer treatment that uses a laser beam (a narrow beam of intense light) to kill cancer cells.

Endoscopic stent placement
An endoscopic stent can be used to open an airway blocked by abnormal tissue.
Follow-up tests may be needed.

ii.    NSCLC

Treatment:
Occult Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Treatment of occult non-small cell lung cancer depends on where the cancer has spread. It can usually be cured by surgery.

Stage 0 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Treatment of stage 0 non-small cell lung cancer may include the following:

  • Surgery.
  • Photodynamic therapy using an endoscope.

Stage I Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Treatment of stage I non-small cell lung cancer may include the following:

  • Surgery.
  • External radiation therapy (for patients who cannot or choose not to have surgery).
  • Surgery followed by chemotherapy.
  • A clinical trial of photodynamic therapy using an endoscope.
  • A clinical trial of surgery followed by chemoprevention.

Stage II Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Treatment of stage II non-small cell lung cancer may include the following:

  • Surgery.
  • External radiation therapy (for patients who cannot or choose not to have surgery).
  • Surgery followed by chemotherapy, with or without other treatments.
  • A clinical trial of external radiation therapy following surgery.

Stage IIIA and Stage IIIB Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Treatment of stage IIIA non-small cell lung cancer may include the following:

  • Surgery with or without radiation therapy.
  • External radiation therapy alone.
  • Chemotherapy combined with other treatments.

Treatment of stage IIIB non-small cell lung cancer may include the following:

  • External radiation therapy alone.
  • Chemotherapy combined with external radiation therapy.
  • Chemotherapy combined with external radiation therapy, followed by surgery.
  • Chemotherapy alone.

Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Treatment of stage IV non-small cell lung cancer may include the following:

  • Watchful waiting.
  • External radiation therapy as palliative therapy, to relieve pain and other symptoms and improve the quality of life.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Laser therapy and/or internal radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy with or without biologic therapy.


Chemotherapy before Other Treatments (Neoadjuvant Treatment)
Receiving chemotherapy before radiation or surgery may help people with lung cancer by shrinking the tumor enough to make it easier to remove with surgery, increasing the effectiveness of radiation and destroying hidden cancer cells at the earliest possible time.

Targeted Treatments
Targeted therapies are designed specifically to attack cancer cells by attaching to or blocking targets that appear on the surfaces of those cells. People who have advanced lung cancer with certain molecular biomarkers may receive treatment with a targeted drug alone or in combination with chemotherapy. These treatments for lung cancer include: