Stage 0 NSCLC Treatment

Stage 0 NSCLC frequently progresses to invasive cancer[1][2][3]. Patients may be offered surveillance bronchoscopies and, if lesions are detected, potentially curative therapies.

Standard Treatment Options for Stage 0 NSCLC

Standard treatment options for stage 0 NSCLC include the following:


Segmentectomy or wedge resection are used to preserve maximum normal pulmonary tissue since patients with stage 0 NSCLC are at a high risk for second lung cancers. Because these tumors are by definition noninvasive and incapable of metastasizing, they should be curable with surgical resection; however, such lesions, when identified, are often centrally located and may require a lobectomy.

Endobronchial therapies

Patients with central lesions may be candidates for curative endobronchial therapy. Endobronchial therapies that preserve lung function include photodynamic therapy, electrocautery, cryotherapy, and Nd-YAG laser therapy[3][4][5][6].

Evidence (endobronchial therapies):

Efficacy of these treatment modalities in the management of patients with early NSCLC remains to be proven in definitive randomized controlled trials.

There is a high incidence of second primary cancers developing[1][2].

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage 0 non-small cell lung cancer. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.


1. Woolner LB, Fontana RS, Cortese DA, et al.: Roentgenographically occult lung cancer: pathologic findings and frequency of multicentricity during a 10-year period. Mayo Clin Proc 59 (7): 453-66, 1984.[PUBMED Abstract]

2. Venmans BJ, van Boxem TJ, Smit EF, et al.: Outcome of bronchial carcinoma in situ. Chest 117 (6): 1572-6, 2000.[PUBMED Abstract]

3. Jeremy George P, Banerjee AK, Read CA, et al.: Surveillance for the detection of early lung cancer in patients with bronchial dysplasia. Thorax 62 (1): 43-50, 2007.[PUBMED Abstract]

4. Kennedy TC, McWilliams A, Edell E, et al.: Bronchial intraepithelial neoplasia/early central airways lung cancer: ACCP evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (2nd edition). Chest 132 (3 Suppl): 221S-233S, 2007.[PUBMED Abstract]

5. Corti L, Toniolo L, Boso C, et al.: Long-term survival of patients treated with photodynamic therapy for carcinoma in situ and early non-small-cell lung carcinoma. Lasers Surg Med 39 (5): 394-402, 2007.[PUBMED Abstract]

6. Deygas N, Froudarakis M, Ozenne G, et al.: Cryotherapy in early superficial bronchogenic carcinoma. Chest 120 (1): 26-31, 2001.[PUBMED Abstract]

7. van Boxem TJ, Venmans BJ, Schramel FM, et al.: Radiographically occult lung cancer treated with fibreoptic bronchoscopic electrocautery: a pilot study of a simple and inexpensive technique. Eur Respir J 11 (1): 169-72, 1998.[PUBMED Abstract]

8. van Boxem AJ, Westerga J, Venmans BJ, et al.: Photodynamic therapy, Nd-YAG laser and electrocautery for treating early-stage intraluminal cancer: which to choose? Lung Cancer 31 (1): 31-6, 2001.[PUBMED Abstract]

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