Two landmark studies may change the way lung cancer (search) is treated. They both show standard chemotherapy (search) markedly improves survival for victims in the early stages of the disease.

Until now, doctors have typically removed lung tumors (search) that haven't noticeably spread. But they haven't routinely put patients through chemotherapy because there's been no clear evidence it improves their chances of survival.

Data presented at an annual scientific meeting in New Orleans indicates chemotherapy can make a substantial difference in lung cancer.

One study shows after five years, 69 percent of the patients who had chemo were still alive, compared to 54 percent of those who just had surgery.

One expert says, "This will translate into thousands of lives saved every year."