Treatment Options for Recurrent Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Recurrent non-small cell lung cancer is cancer that has recurred (come back) after it has been treated. The cancer may come back in the brain, lung, or other parts of the body.

Newly Diagnosed Stage IV, Relapsed, and Recurrent Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Treatment of newly diagnosed stage IV, relapsed, and recurrent non-small cell lung cancer may include the following:

  • Combination chemotherapy
  • Combination chemotherapy and targeted therapy with a monoclonal antibody, such as bevacizumab, cetuximab, or necitumumab
  • Combination chemotherapy followed by more chemotherapy as maintenance therapy to help keep cancer from progressing
  • Targeted therapy with an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor, such as osimertinib, gefitinib, erlotinib, or afatinib
  • Targeted therapy with an anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor, such as alectinib, crizotinib, ceritinib, brigatinib, or lorlatinib
  • Targeted therapy with a BRAF or MEK inhibitor, such as dabrafenib or trametinib
  • Targeted therapy with a NTRK inhibitor, such as larotrectinib
  • Immunotherapy with an immune checkpoint inhibitor, such as pembrolizumab, with or without chemotherapy
  • Laser therapy and/or internal radiation therapy for tumors that are blocking the airways
  • External radiation therapy as palliative therapy, to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life
  • Surgery to remove a second primary tumor
  • Surgery to remove cancer that has spread to the brain, followed by radiation therapy to the whole brain
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery for tumors that have spread to the brain and cannot be treated with surgery
  • A clinical trial of new drugs and combinations of treatments


Progressive Stage IV, Relapsed, and Recurrent Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Treatment of progressive stage IV, relapsed, and recurrent non-small cell lung cancer may include the following:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy with an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor, such as erlotinib, gefitinib, afatinib, or osimertinib
  • Targeted therapy with an anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor, such as crizotinib, ceritinib, alectinib, or brigatinib
  • Targeted therapy with a BRAF or MEK inhibitor, such as dabrafenib or trametinib
  • Immunotherapy with an immune checkpoint inhibitor, such as nivolumab, pembrolizumab, or atezolizumab.
  • A clinical trial of new drugs and combinations of treatments

Use our clinical trial search to find NCI-supported cancer clinical trials that are accepting patients. You can search for trials based on the type of cancer, the age of the patient, and where the trials are being done. General information about clinical trials is also available.

 

 

Information provided by National Cancer Institute.