J Cancer 2017; 8(1):29-38. doi:10.7150/jca.16822

Research Paper

Research progress in the treatment of small cell lung cancer

Yan-fang Qiu*, Zhi-gang Liu*✉, Wen-juan Yang, Yu Zhao, Jiao Tang, Wei-zhi Tang, Yi Jin, Fang Li, Rui Zhong, Hui Wang

Key Laboratory of Translational Radiation Oncology, Hunan Province. Department of Radiation Oncology, Hunan Cancer Hospital and The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China.
* These authors contributed equally to this work.

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Qiu Yf, Liu Zg, Yang Wj, Zhao Y, Tang J, Tang Wz, Jin Y, Li F, Zhong R, Wang H. Research progress in the treatment of small cell lung cancer. J Cancer 2017; 8(1):29-38. doi:10.7150/jca.16822. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v08p0029.htm

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Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) accounts for approximately 10-15% of all lung cancers. No significant improvement has been made for patients with SCLC in the past several decades. The main progresses were the thoracic radiation and prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) that improved the patient survival rate. For patients with limited disease and good performance status (PS), concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) followed by PCI should be considered. For extensive disease, the combination of etoposide and platinum-based chemotherapy remains the standard treatment and consolidative thoracic radiotherapy is beneficial for patients who have a significant respond to initial chemotherapy. However, the prognosis still remains poor. Recently, efforts have been focused on molecular targets and immunotherapy. But numerous molecular targets methods have failed to show a significant clinical benefit in patients with SCLC. It is anticipated that further development of research will depend on the on-going trials for molecular targeted therapy and immunotherapy which are promising and may improve the outcomes for SCLC in the next decade.

Keywords: Immunotherapy, Molecular targets, Prophylactic cranial irradiation, Radiotherapy, Small cell lung cancer.