Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains a fatal disease: the majority of patients are diagnosed as having metastases or advanced inoperable tumors. The activity of chemotherapy in NSCLC patients is low with objective response rarely complete and sustained. Cisplatin-based combinations are considered as the standard chemotherapy treatment. Recently., the introduction of new and less toxic chemotherapeutic agents., such as vinorelbine., has led investigators to research for active non-cisplatin-containing combinations to treat patients with advanced disease having as primary needs symptom relief and an acceptable quality of life. This review will focus on the pharmacological properties of vinorelbine and its role in adjuvant chemotherapy., in combined chemo-radiotherapy., in advanced disease and in the particular setting of the elderly. The oral use of vinorelbine will be among the future developments of this drug.
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