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The most common types of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) include squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), large cell carcinoma (LCC) and adenocarcinoma. NSCLC accounts for ~85% of cases of lung cancer. The biggest risk factor for SCC and LCC is smoking, whereas adenocarcinoma is the most common type of lung cancer in people that have never smoked.
NSCLCs are relatively insensitive to chemotherapy compared with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC); therefore surgery remains the treatment choice if patients are diagnosed at an early stage. For patients with small, inoperable tumors, radiotherapy is a treatment option, with or without chemotherapy. For patients with advanced NSCLC, a variety of chemotherapy options can be used – including cisplatin or carboplatin.
In recent years, the identification of molecular aberrations in key signal transduction pathways has led to the development of novel therapies for oncogene-addicted tumors. These include epidermal growth factor (EGFR) and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), with others in development including BRAF, HER2 and KRAS. Immunotherapies and immune checkpoint inhibitors also continue to advance the treatment of NSCLC, and improve outcomes for patients.View overview page