Small cell lung cancer remains one of the more frustrating malignancies for oncologists to treat. Although responses to initial platinum-based chemotherapy are high, most are not durable, and many patients are candidates for further palliative chemotherapy. Therapeutic options include reinduction or single-agent chemotherapy, depending on the duration of response to front-line treatment. Topotecan is the only approved agent for patients with relapsed disease. Several phase II studies have shown a modest benefit with other agents used today, although combination chemotherapy should be avoided because of increased toxicity. Palliative care should always be the focus, especially in patients with recurrent or chemorefractory small cell lung cancer and a poor performance status.
Bryan J. Schneider
Bryan J. Schneider, Ashish Saxena and Robert J. Downey
Limited-stage small cell lung cancer remains one of the more frustrating malignancies to treat. Current standard of care typically includes platinum-based chemotherapy with thoracic radiation, and although response to therapy is high, most patients will ultimately experience relapse and die of recurrent disease. No high-level data exist supporting surgical resection of early-stage disease; however, several retrospective reviews and small single-arm studies suggest surgery may benefit patients with very limited extent of disease. This article reviews the available literature, and proposes guidelines for including potentially curative resection in the management of patients with limited-stage small cell lung cancer.
Benjamin Levy, Ashish Saxena and Bryan J. Schneider
Small cell lung cancer is an aggressive tumor characterized by genetic complexity, rapid doubling time, and early development of disseminated disease. Unfortunately, few chemotherapeutic advances have been made in the treatment of extensive-stage disease, and cisplatin/etoposide has remained the standard of care for more than 30 years. Other regimens with comparable efficacy include cisplatin/irinotecan and carboplatin/etoposide. Each of these combinations is associated with a different toxicity profile that must be considered when selecting an initial regimen. Several strategies, including maintenance chemotherapy, 3-drug combinations, alternating combination chemotherapy regimens, and high-dose chemotherapy, have consistently failed to demonstrate improvements in survival when compared with 4 to 6 cycles of platinum doublets. Several options are available for patients who experience progression during or relapse after induction therapy, although topotecan is the only FDA-approved agent for second-line treatment. Recently, scientific efforts have identified potentially actionable genetic alterations in small cell tumors that may lead to the development of effective, targeted therapies.
John A. Thompson, Bryan J. Schneider, Julie Brahmer, Stephanie Andrews, Philippe Armand, Shailender Bhatia, Lihua E. Budde, Luciano Costa, Marianne Davies, David Dunnington, Marc S. Ernstoff, Matthew Frigault, Brianna Hoffner, Christopher J. Hoimes, Mario Lacouture, Frederick Locke, Matthew Lunning, Nisha A. Mohindra, Jarushka Naidoo, Anthony J. Olszanski, Olalekan Oluwole, Sandip P. Patel, Sunil Reddy, Mabel Ryder, Bianca Santomasso, Scott Shofer, Jeffrey A. Sosman, Momen Wahidi, Yinghong Wang, Alyse Johnson-Chilla and Jillian L. Scavone
The aim of the NCCN Guidelines for Management of Immunotherapy-Related Toxicities is to provide guidance on the management of immune-related adverse events resulting from cancer immunotherapy. The NCCN Management of Immunotherapy-Related Toxicities Panel is an interdisciplinary group of representatives from NCCN Member Institutions and ASCO, consisting of medical and hematologic oncologists with expertise in a wide array of disease sites, and experts from the fields of dermatology, gastroenterology, neuro-oncology, nephrology, emergency medicine, cardiology, oncology nursing, and patient advocacy. Several panel representatives are members of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC). The initial version of the NCCN Guidelines was designed in general alignment with recommendations published by ASCO and SITC. The content featured in this issue is an excerpt of the recommendations for managing toxicity related to immune checkpoint blockade and a review of existing evidence. For the full version of the NCCN Guidelines, including recommendations for managing toxicities related to chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, visit NCCN.org.