Immunotherapies, Novel Agents Push Envelope in SCLC

Rachel Narozniak
Published: Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019
Gregory Kalemkerian, MD, FACP, a specialist in thoracic cancers

Gregory Kalemkerian, MD, FACP

Until the approval of immunotherapy agents in small cell lung cancer (SCLC), the treatment landscape for this tumor type had remained virtually unaltered for the past 2 decades. Successive investigations failed to broaden the portfolio of therapies.1 Now, with several agents in development, SCLC, which constitutes up to 15% of lung cancers, is the focus of increased clinical investigation that may make further treatment inroads.

It represented an alternative to the harsh adverse events associated with cisplatin. Cisplatin/etoposide and carboplatin/etoposide were the first-line standards of care for patients with SCLC until March 2019, which is when the FDA approved atezolizumab in combination with carboplatin and etoposide as a frontline treatment for adult patients with extensive-stage SCLC.

Figure. History of SCLC Approvals2,3

Figure. History of SCLC Approvals
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