Q. Can metastatic lung cancer be managed with just chemotherapy?

Answered by
Dr. Rajesh Gulati
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 09, 2023

Hi doctor,

I wanted to know how long my father could survive with chemotherapy. My father was diagnosed with metastatic NSCLC (lung cancer) two months before, and he already took two cycles of chemotherapy, one in the first week of the last month and another in the last week of the month. There has been no extreme side effect till now. The doctor also suggested a combination of chemotherapy with immunotherapy. Still, they said the clinical trial suggested that if he can tolerate immunotherapy, it should continue for at least two years. As we are from a middle-class background, continuing immunotherapy for two years is impossible. So my question is, are there any partial benefits we can get if we use immunotherapy for six to eight months along with chemotherapy and then continue only with chemotherapy?

Currently, he is taking Carboplatin–pemetrexed as a chemotherapy medicine. I am asking this question as a second opinion to maximize my father's survival within our limited financial budget. Also, I want to know how long he can survive with chemotherapy alone.

Kindly help.



Welcome to

I have reviewed the attached reports. (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity)

He should continue six to eight cycles of chemotherapy with Pemetrexed and Carboplatin. After that, you can continue with maintenance Premetrexed for as long as the cancer is controlled. After that, in case of progression, you can switch to the next line of chemotherapy. If money is a constraint, one should not go for immunotherapy. The same response can be achieved with chemotherapy.

I hope this helps.

Thank you.

Hi doctor,

Do you think partial Immunotherapy (for six months) or a low dose (if the cost is affordable) of Immunotherapy will not benefit my father's case? Or is there any bad impact if we take a shorter period of immunotherapy?



Welcome back to

Immunotherapy has fewer side effects. It will work till it has been given and can also be given for six months. Later on, can switch to chemotherapy.

Thank you.

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