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MS20 - Small Cell Lung Cancer (ID 37)
- Event: WCLC 2013
- Type: Mini Symposia
- Track: Medical Oncology
- Presentations: 1
MS20.1 - The Clinical Challenge of Small Cell Lung Cancer (ID 551)
14:00 - 15:30 | Author(s): S. Almokadem
Small cell lung cancer represents about 12% of new case of lung cancer in the USA. It has a unique presentation and natural history compared to other types of lung cancer and is highly responsive to first-line treatment. Unfortunately, the cancer typically relapses after a short period of time and exhibits resistance to cytotoxic and targeted therapeutic agents with a poor median survival. The last 2 decades witnessed significant improvement in our understanding of the molecular basis of small cell lung cancer with identification of several potential therapeutic targets leading to application and evaluation of novel chemotherapeutic, targeted and immunotherapeutic agents in a large number of clinical trials. In this presentation, we will summarize the data from the recent and ongoing clinical trials in this disease and understand the challenge that it poses. However, the results have overall been disappointing and the combination of a platinum compound with etoposide remains the most effective treatment for this patient population. Despite the advent of new cytotoxic and targeted agents, which have shown significant activity in other types of cancer including non-small cell lung cancer, their use in SCLC has not had any impact on survival. The differences in efficacy observed with agents such as amrubicin and irinotecan in patients from different ethnic or racial groups indicate the importance of the understanding the tumor genetic makeup and individualizing treatment regimens. The landscape of genetic alterations of SCLC is more complex than in other types of cancer. To date, no specific mutation, abnormal fusion protein secondary to chromosomal translocation or aberrant signal transduction pathway has been validated and proven to be critical for the continuation of the carcinogenesis process and survival of the SCLC tumor cells. SCLC remains one of the most challenging tumors to treat with our current standard of care. The recent advances in sequencing and high throughput technologies have started to yield useful information about the molecular abnormalities of SCLC. We need to refine the recently acquired knowledge of SCLC biology and apply that knowledge in innovative clinical trials to have a breakthrough in the treatment of SCLC.
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