Small-cell lung cancer

Hirva Mamdani, Shadia Jalal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Objective: To review the clinical aspects and current practices of management of small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Methods: Review of the literature. Results: SCLC is an aggressive cancer of neuroendocrine origin with a very strong association with smoking. Approximately 25% of patients present with limited-stage disease while the remaining majority of patients have extensive-stage disease, defined as disease extending beyond one hemithorax at the time of diagnosis. SCLC is often associated with endocrine or neurologic paraneoplastic syndromes. The treatment of limited-stage disease consists of platinum-based chemotherapy administered concurrently with radiation. Patients with partial or complete response should be offered prophylactic cranial radiation (PCI). Extensive-stage disease is largely treated with platinum-based chemotherapy and the role of PCI is more controversial. The efficacy of second-line chemotherapy after disease progression on platinum based chemotherapy is limited. Conclusion: Despite a number of advances in the treatment of various malignancies over the period of past several years, the prognosis of patients with SCLC remains poor. There have been a number of clinical trials utilizing novel therapeutic agents to improve outcomes of these patients; however, few of them have shown marginal success in a very select subgroup of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Clinical Outcomes Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • Lung cancer;
  • Small-cell lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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