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Abstract

A new study suggests patients who recover slowly from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) surgery may still benefit from delayed chemotherapy started up to 4 months after surgery (JAMA Oncol 2017; doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.5829). Adjuvant chemotherapy after initial cancer surgery has become a standard recommendation for patients with NSCLC with lymph node metastases, tumors that are 4 cm or larger or extensive local invasion of the cancer. While there is consensus regarding indications for chemotherapy after the initial cancer treatment, the optimal timing following surgical resection is poorly defined. Many clinicians support starting chemotherapy within 6 weeks after surgery. But factors such as postoperative complications may affect a patient's ability to tolerate chemotherapy.