Update on new drugs in small cell lung cancer

Leora Horn, Emily Louise Castellanos, David H. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Introduction: Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) will account for 25,000 to 32,000 new lung cancer cases in the USA in 2010. Current treatment approaches include platinum-based chemotherapy and etoposide with or without radiation therapy depending on stage and performance status. Five-year survival is approximately 25% for patients with limited stage disease and 1 - 2% for patients with extensive stage disease and has not improved in almost two decades. Areas covered: This article reviews the results of recent clinical trials that have evaluated targeted agents and novel cytotoxic agents alone or in combination with standard chemotherapy in the treatment of patients with SCLC. Expert opinion: The lack of a targeted approach to the treatment of patients with SCLC has led investigators to evaluate a multitude of agents with overwhelmingly negative results. A more systematic approach to clinical trials in patients is needed to improve outcomes for patients with this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-455
Number of pages15
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


  • chemotherapy
  • clinical trials
  • small cell lung cancer
  • targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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