Alternatives to Surgical Resection for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Richard Whitlock, MD, Bryan M. Burt, MD, Shawn S. Groth, MD

Key Points

  • Surgical resection is the preferred of treatment of patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer who have acceptable surgical risk.
  • Ablative techniques such as stereotactic ablative radiotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, microwave ablation, and cryotherapy are good alternatives to surgical resection for medically inoperable patients with stage I and node-negative stage II (T1-3, N0, M0) NSCLC.
  • In NSCLC patients considered for non-resectional approaches, a thorough evaluation of mediastinal and N1 nodal stations is important and may require invasive pathologic nodal sampling.

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Last updated: November 6, 2022