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  • Author: Cesar A. Moran x
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Bonnie S. Glisson and Cesar A. Moran

The diagnosis and treatment of large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma are controversial, difficult, and clearly still evolving. Diagnosing this particular entity can be hampered by the limitations and restrictions imposed by its own definition in the current WHO classification. These complexities in the semantics of diagnostic criteria can puzzle not only the pathologist but also the treating physician, and lead to difficulties in choosing treatment for individual patients. Because of its low incidence (2%-3% of non-small cell carcinomas) and the difficulties in diagnosis, data regarding treatment outcomes are based on series in which the diagnosis is frequently made retrospectively in reclassification, the numbers of patients are small, and the determinants of therapy choice (e.g., treatment with or without adjuvant chemotherapy postresection) cannot be known. Thus, the evidence on which to base recommendations for stage-based treatment paradigms is flawed in many respects. This article discusses these difficult issues for pathologists and oncologists, offers a perspective regarding approaches in treatment, and suggests ways in which prospective data on this uncommon cancer can be gathered to inform treatment guidelines and improve patient outcomes.

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Gregory P. Kalemkerian, Wallace Akerley, Paul Bogner, Hossein Borghaei, Laura QM Chow, Robert J. Downey, Leena Gandhi, Apar Kishor P. Ganti, Ramaswamy Govindan, John C. Grecula, James Hayman, Rebecca Suk Heist, Leora Horn, Thierry Jahan, Marianna Koczywas, Billy W. Loo Jr, Robert E. Merritt, Cesar A. Moran, Harvey B. Niell, Janis O’Malley, Jyoti D. Patel, Neal Ready, Charles M. Rudin, Charles C. Williams Jr, Kristina Gregory and Miranda Hughes

Neuroendocrine tumors account for approximately 20% of lung cancers; most (≈15%) are small cell lung cancer (SCLC). These NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for SCLC focus on extensive-stage SCLC because it occurs more frequently than limited-stage disease. SCLC is highly sensitive to initial therapy; however, most patients eventually die of recurrent disease. In patients with extensive-stage disease, chemotherapy alone can palliate symptoms and prolong survival in most patients; however, long-term survival is rare. Most cases of SCLC are attributable to cigarette smoking; therefore, smoking cessation should be strongly promoted.

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Gregory P. Kalemkerian, Wallace Akerley, Paul Bogner, Hossein Borghaei, Laura Chow, Robert J. Downey, Leena Gandhi, Apar Kishor P. Ganti, Ramaswamy Govindan, John C. Grecula, James Hayman, Rebecca Suk Heist, Leora Horn, Thierry M. Jahan, Marianna Koczywas, Cesar A. Moran, Harvey B. Niell, Janis O'Malley, Jyoti D. Patel, Neal Ready, Charles M. Rudin and Charles C. Williams Jr.

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Gregory P. Kalemkerian, Billy W. Loo Jr, Wallace Akerley, Albert Attia, Michael Bassetti, Yanis Boumber, Roy Decker, M. Chris Dobelbower, Afshin Dowlati, Robert J. Downey, Charles Florsheim, Apar Kishor P. Ganti, John C. Grecula, Matthew A. Gubens, Christine L. Hann, James A. Hayman, Rebecca Suk Heist, Marianna Koczywas, Robert E. Merritt, Nisha Mohindra, Julian Molina, Cesar A. Moran, Daniel Morgensztern, Saraswati Pokharel, David C. Portnoy, Deborah Rhodes, Chad Rusthoven, Jacob Sands, Rafael Santana-Davila, Charles C. Williams Jr, Karin G. Hoffmann and Miranda Hughes

The NCCN Guidelines for Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) address all aspects of disease management. These NCCN Guidelines Insights focus on recent updates to the NCCN Guidelines for SCLC regarding immunotherapy, systemic therapy, and radiation therapy. For the 2018 update, new sections were added on “Signs and Symptoms of SCLC” and “Principles of Pathologic Review.”