Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 244–253 | Cite as

Evaluating Treatment Patterns for Small Cell Carcinoma of the Colon Using the National Cancer Database (NCDB)

  • Sadhana Balasubramanyam
  • Barrett P. O’Donnell
  • Benjamin L. Musher
  • Pavan M. Jhaveri
  • Michelle S. Ludwig
Original Research



The objective of this study was to characterize the clinicopathological prognostic factors and treatment patterns for small cell carcinoma (SCC) of the colon, a rare disease without standard treatment guidelines.


We analyzed clinicopathological and treatment variables for 503 cases of histologically proven SCC colon entered into the National Cancer Database (NCDB) between 2004 and 2013. Survival curves were generated using Kaplan-Meier and compared by the log-rank test. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to control for covariates and evaluate the effect of different treatment modalities on overall survival.


Four hundred seventy-two (93.8%) patients had complete clinical staging information and were therefore included in our analysis. Of these patients, 149 (31.5%) had limited stage disease (LD) and 323 (68.4%) had extensive stage disease (ED) at presentation. Median overall survival (OS) for patients with ED was significantly lower than for those with LD (4.04 months vs. 21.82 months; p < 0.001). Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed administration of chemotherapy was associated with improved survival in patients with LD and ED (p = 0.026, p < 0.001) while surgery was not associated with improved survival in patients with LD or ED (p = 0.943, p = 0.630). Radiation therapy was associated with improved survival in patients with ED (p = 0.044).


SCC of the colon carries a poor prognosis, especially in patients presenting with metastatic disease. Surgery and chemotherapy are administered more frequently than radiation, and chemotherapy is associated with improved survival, unlike surgery.


Extrapulmonary small cell carcinoma Colon cancer Radiation Chemotherapy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sadhana Balasubramanyam
    • 1
  • Barrett P. O’Donnell
    • 1
  • Benjamin L. Musher
    • 2
  • Pavan M. Jhaveri
    • 2
  • Michelle S. Ludwig
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.John P. and Katherine G. McGovern Medical SchoolHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Baylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  3. 3.HoustonUSA

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