How is small cell lung cancer (SCLC) treated?

Updated: Sep 12, 2019
  • Author: Abid Irshad, MD; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Answer

The British Medical Research Council reported that patients with SCLC had a poor prognosis and that SCLC was considered a distinct clinicopathologic entity. After that report, different treatment options were considered, and surgery alone was found to be an insufficient method of treatment. A better response was obtained with the addition of chemotherapy and irradiation.

Because SCLC is considered a systemic disease, the clinical course, prognosis, and treatment options are clearly different from those of other lung cancers. Clinically, lung cancers are often categorized into SCLC and non-SCLC (NSCLC).

Patients with SCLC are rarely surgical candidates, and they are usually treated with irradiation and/or chemotherapy. Patients with NSCLC are usually evaluated for possible surgical excision, and their disease is staged by using the common tumor, nodes, and metastases (TNM) staging system.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!