Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, accounting for 1.2 million new cases annually. Despite aggressive local management of patients diagnosed with early-stage disease (stages I–IIIA), more than half of patients who have undergone surgical resection will die from complications caused by recurrent lung cancer. Over the past 5 years, results from several large trials assessing the use of adjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer have become available. This article reviews the data from the most prominent of these trials and focuses on how the combination of cisplatin and etoposide has been evaluated for use in the adjuvant setting. Cisplatin-based therapy has now been shown to provide a significant survival benefit in several trials and recent meta-analyses. These data have changed the paradigm for how early-stage lung cancer is managed.