Progress in the therapy of small cell lung cancer

Miklos Simon, Athanassios Argiris, John R. Murren

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) accounts for approximately 14% of all cases of lung cancer. Combination chemotherapy is the most effective treatment modality for SCLC and recently, several new active drugs have emerged. Combinations of platinum agents with CPT-11 or gemcitabine have been successfully compared in phase III trials against the cisplatin/etoposide standard. Modest improvements in the outcome of patients with SCLC have been noted over the last two decades. Thoracic irradiation given concurrently with chemotherapy improves survival compared with sequential chemotherapy and radiation, but this approach is associated with more toxicity. Moreover, the optimal doses and fractionation of thoracic irradiation remain to be determined. Three-dimensional treatment planning is under investigation. Prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) has established a role in the management of patients who have achieved a complete response to the initial therapy. Novel molecular targeted therapies are among the strategies currently being investigated in SCLC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-133
Number of pages15
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemotherapy
  • Prophylactic cranial irradiation
  • Radiation therapy
  • Small cell lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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