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Eur J Cancer. 2017 Sep;83:266-278. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2017.07.002. Epub 2017 Jul 29.

Treatment of elderly patients or patients who are performance status 2 (PS2) with advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer without epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) translocations - Still a daily challenge.

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Department of Oncology, Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
Royal Marsden Hospital, Downs Rd, Sutton, United Kingdom. Electronic address:


Cytotoxic chemotherapy remains the core treatment strategy for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with tumours that do not have actionable molecular alterations, such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-sensitising mutations, anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) translocations or ROS1 translocations. Age and performance status (PS) are two pivotal factors to guide treatment decisions regarding the use of chemotherapy in lung cancer patients. Lung cancer is predominantly a disease of the elderly, with more than two-thirds of patients aged ≥65 years, the current definition of 'elderly'. The prevalence of poor PS, as estimated by patients themselves, can be as high as 50%. Both the elderly and PS2 patients are underrepresented in clinical trials. Therefore, optimising treatment strategy for the subgroup of elderly or PS2 patients with advanced NSCLC remains challenging as a result of a paucity of clinical trial data. The current review focusses on the elderly or PS2 patients without actionable oncogenic drivers and attempts to summarise current available data on recent treatments trials including angiogenesis inhibitors and immune-checkpoint inhibitors.


Anti-angiogenesis; ECOG PS2; Elderly; Immunotherapy; Non-small cell lung cancer; VEGF

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