Survival, Chemotherapy Treatments, and Health Care Utilization Among Patients with Advanced Small Cell Lung Cancer: An Observational Study

Jinghua He, Changxia Shao, Siu L. Hui, Zuoyi Zhang, Jarod Baker, Paul R. Dexter, Sumesh Kachroo, Fan Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: Most cases of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) are diagnosed at an advanced stage. The objective of this study was to investigate patient characteristics, survival, chemotherapy treatments, and health care use after a diagnosis of advanced SCLC in subjects enrolled in a health system network. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients aged ≥ 18 years who either were diagnosed with stage III/IV SCLC or who progressed to advanced SCLC during the study period (2005–2015). Patients identified from the Indiana State Cancer Registry and the Indiana Network for Patient Care were followed from their advanced diagnosis index date until the earliest date of the last visit, death, or the end of the study period. Patient characteristics, survival, chemotherapy regimens, associated health care visits, and durations of treatment were reported. Time-to-event analyses were performed using the Kaplan-Meier method. Results: A total of 498 patients with advanced SCLC were identified, of whom 429 were newly diagnosed with advanced disease and 69 progressed to advanced disease during the study period. Median survival from the index diagnosis date was 13.2 months. First-line (1L) chemotherapy was received by 464 (93.2%) patients, most commonly carboplatin/etoposide, received by 213 (45.9%) patients, followed by cisplatin/etoposide (20.7%). Ninety-five (20.5%) patients progressed to second-line (2L) chemotherapy, where topotecan monotherapy (20.0%) was the most common regimen, followed by carboplatin/etoposide (14.7%). Median survival was 10.1 months from 1L initiation and 7.7 months from 2L initiation. Conclusion: Patients in a regional health system network diagnosed with advanced SCLC were treated with chemotherapy regimens similar to those in earlier reports based on SEER-Medicare data. Survival of patients with advanced SCLC was poor, illustrating the lack of progress over several decades in the treatment of this lethal disease and highlighting the need for improved treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)552-565
Number of pages14
JournalAdvances in Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Overall survival
  • Resource utilization
  • Small cell lung cancer
  • Treatment patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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