Small cell lung cancer remains a highly lethal form of cancer, with few advances made in treatment over the last two decades. The use of platinum-containing doublet chemotherapy, and concurrent chemotherapy and thoracic irradiation in limited stage disease, remains the standard of care. To date, a number of trials have been conducted to assess the impact of newer chemotherapy agents, either for single agent activity or combined with standard chemotherapy, but with limited success. Many of the recent benefits seen in other forms of cancer (including nonsmall cell lung cancer) arise from the identification and targeting of specific molecular abnormalities that promote cancer growth and spread. However, although a range of targeted therapies have also been trialled in small cell lung cancer, and despite promising in-vitro data, these have not as yet produced major breakthroughs in clinical management. Further elucidation of the molecular mechanisms in small cell lung cancer and therapies directed at these abnormalities holds the key to improving outcomes in this condition, but requires significant ongoing work.
|Publication status||Published - 2013|