11/29/2015 07:00 PM EST
As recently as a decade ago, a patient diagnosed with advanced lung cancer had a straightforward choice of treatments: chemotherapy or palliative measures. Many oncologists advised their patients against chemotherapy, feeling that the choice offered little if any potential benefit. Fast forward to the waning days of 2015 and, for a growing number of patients with lung cancer, things have changed dramatically. Over the past 3 years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved nine new therapies for patients with lung cancer. Although not beneficial in every patient, these new treatments—both targeted therapies andimmunotherapies—can produce substantial tumor responses and, importantly, improved survival in some patients.