Chemotherapy Resistance in Lung Cancer

  • Eric S. KimEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 893)


Despite a growing interest in development of non-cytotoxic targeted agents, systemic chemotherapy is still the mainstay of treatment for both non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). However, chemotherapy resistance limits our ability to effectively treat advanced lung cancer. Some lung tumors are intrinsically resistant to chemotherapy, and in virtually all cases, even the initial responders rapidly develop acquired resistance. While targeting histology could result in enhanced tumor sensitivity to a particular chemotherapeutic agent, better understanding of molecular determinants of chemotherapy sensitivity/resistance would be critically important. Development of predictive biomarkers to personalize chemotherapeutic agents and combining novel agents targeting specific resistance pathways with standard chemotherapy could be some promising strategies to overcome chemotherapy resistance in lung cancer. In this chapter, we will discuss some key mechanisms of resistance for commonly used chemotherapeutic agents in lung cancer.


Chemotherapy resistance Drug resistance Lung cancer Non-small cell lung cancer Small cell lung cancer Multidrug resistance 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, James P. Wilmot Cancer CenterUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA

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