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Onkologie 20. April 2011

SCLC – The forgotten entity

As interest in biomarkers, staging and treatment of NSCLC has dramatically increased in the past years, the opposite is true for SCLC. The number of abstracts dealing with SCLC presented during the past ASCO meetings amounts to only one-eighth of the number of abstracts on NSCLC. Some specific reasons may be responsible for the decrease in applied research in SCLC. The incidence of SCLC has dropped over the last decades mainly due to changes in smoking habits, whereas efforts to improve survival by means of systemic treatment have been stagnating for years. One of the rare appreciable improvements impacting survival of patients with ES-SCLC was made with prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) treatment. On the basis of recently published data, it seems that revisiting past experience with surgery in LS-SCLC may be one of the most promising perspectives to regain interest in tailored therapy in SCLC. In many malignancies targeted therapies have been successfully applied in the meantime. Developments in targeted therapy aiming at SCLC are lagging far behind, for example NSCLC. None of the abstracts concerning SCLC presented at this year's ASCO showed an improvement in survival and even worse is that only one phase III trial was presented in the lung cancer session and this trial showed negative results.

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