Pemetrexed Continuation Maintenance Phase 3 Trials in Nonsquamous, Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer: Focus on 2-Year Overall Survival and Continuum of Care

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Although lung cancer prognosis remains poor for most patients, treatments developed in the past 2 decades have extended survival for many. For those with disease that responded to or those with stable disease after receipt of platinum-based chemotherapy, maintenance regimens enable continued targeting of tumors beyond the induction phase, which is limited by toxicity. This overview summarizes completed phase 3 trials of pemetrexed continuation maintenance treatment in nonsquamous, non–small-cell lung cancer with a focus on 2-year survival, and highlights similar ongoing trials. Some studies showed survival benefits of pemetrexed maintenance treatment versus control arms, with the potential for added benefit when combined with bevacizumab. Two-year survival rates underscore the value of maintenance therapy and suggest progress toward a clinical goal of managing non–small-cell lung cancer as a treatable chronic disease.

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