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Leena Gandhi and Bruce E. Johnson

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is the most frequent cancer histology associated with paraneoplastic syndromes. These syndromes are typically caused by ectopic hormone production or immune-mediated tissue destruction caused by neural antigen expression from cancer cells. This antigen expression induces the production of antibodies that cross-react with neural tissue. This article discusses the most common ectopic hormone and neurologic paraneoplastic syndromes and emphasizes the relationships among antigens, clinical syndromes, and outcomes. Although ectopic hormone production has been associated with extensive-stage disease and a poorer outcome, the antibody-mediated paraneoplastic syndromes are prognostic factors associated with more favorable outcomes. Both have the potential for improvement with cancer treatment.

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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.