Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is an increasing global challenge, especially in low-income countries. Most guidelines for the management of advanced-stage NSCLC have limited effect in countries with resource constraints. Following a systematic literature search, we present an overview of the management of advanced-stage NSCLC in the first-line setting, discuss resources required for systemic therapy, and provide treatment recommendations stratified to four resources levels. Treatment guidelines appropriate for different resource levels offer a realistic approach to management of advanced-stage NSCLC, by recognising the limitations of a particular health-care system. Although there are many barriers to cancer control in low-resource countries, these can be overcome by using measures that are culturally appropriate, economically feasible, and evidence-based. Initiatives include strategic planning, tobacco control, training of health-care workers, access to therapeutic agents, acquisition of information, public education, and alliances with established institutions and international organisations.
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