Maintenance therapy in NSCLC
More research is underway but the use of maintenance therapies is showing promise in NSCLC. The National Cancer Institute defines maintenance therapy as, "Treatment that is given to help keep cancer from coming back after it has disappeared following the initial therapy. It may include treatment with drugs, vaccines, or antibodies that kill cancer cells and it may be given for a long time."
Three drugs are used in NSCLC: Tarceva and Alimta have been approved by the FDA for maintenance and Avastin is being studied. Maintenance may be continuation, meaning the patient stays on a drug they have already been taking or switch, meaning the patient changes to a new drug.
Learn about NSCLC and maintenance therapies
Maintenance therapies (Lung Cancer Alliance)
New Approaches to Maintenance Therapy (InforMEDical) Three leading lung cancer specialists discuss maintenance therapy:
- David R. Spigel, MD -- EGFR TKIs in the Maintenance Setting
- Mark A. Socinski, MD -- Maintenance Therapy:Continuation versus Switch
- Alan B. Sandler, MD -- VEGF Antibody in the Maintenance Setting
Reviews of the literature as of 2011
Novello et al. 2011. Maintenance therapy in NSCLC: Why? To whom? Which agent? Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research 30:50.
Coate and Shepherd. 2011. Maintenance therapy in advanced non-small cell lung cancer: evolution, tolerability and outcomes. Advances in Medical Oncology 3(3):139-57.
2012 summary of results of the Paramount trial
ASCO: Alimta extends survival in NSCLC (Med Page Today)