Maintenance therapy in NSCLC: Why? to whom? Which agent?

Silvia Novello, Michele Milella, Marcello Tiseo, Giuseppe Banna, Diego Cortinovis, Massimo Di Maio, Marina Garassino, Paolo Maione, Olga Martelli, Tiziana Vavalà, Emilio Bria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Maintenance therapy is emerging as a treatment strategy in the management of advanced non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Initial trials addressing the question of duration of combination chemotherapy failed to show any overall survival benefit for the prolonged administration over a fixed number of cycles with an increased risk for cumulative toxicity. Nowadays several agents with different ways of administration and a different pattern of toxicity have been formally investigated in the maintenance setting. Maintenance strategies include continuing with an agent already present in the induction regimen or switching to a different one. Taking into consideration that no comparative trials of maintenance with different chemotherapy drugs or targeted agents have been conducted, the choice and the duration of maintenance agents is largely empirical. Furthermore, it is still unknown and it remains an open question if this approach needs to be proposed to every patient in the case of partial/complete response or stable disease after the induction therapy. Here, we critically review available data on maintenance treatment, discussing the possibility to tailor the right treatment to the right patient, in an attempt to optimize costs and benefits of an ever-growing panel of different treatment options.

Original languageEnglish
Article number50
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)


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