Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 6, pp 7047–7057 | Cite as

Treatment of lung large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma

  • Giuseppe Lo Russo
  • Sara Pusceddu
  • Claudia Proto
  • Marianna Macerelli
  • Diego Signorelli
  • Milena Vitali
  • Monica Ganzinelli
  • Rosaria Gallucci
  • Nicoletta Zilembo
  • Marco Platania
  • Roberto Buzzoni
  • Filippo de Braud
  • Marina Chiara Garassino


Lung large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (L-LCNEC) is a rare, aggressive, and difficult-to-treat tumor. It is classified as a neuroendocrine subtype of large cell lung carcinoma (LCLC) belonging to the non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) group, but it is also included in the neuroendocrine tumor (NET) group. Most of the available data related to its treatment derive from retrospective analyses or small case series. For patients with L-LCNEC, prognosis is generally very poor. In early stages (I–II–III), surgery is recommended but does not seem to be sufficient. Platinum-based adjuvant chemotherapy may be useful while the role of neoadjuvant chemotherapy is still not well defined. In patients with advanced L-LCNEC, the chemotherapy regimens used in SCLC still remain the standard of treatment, but results are not satisfactory. Due to their peculiar clinical and biological features and the lack of literature data, there is an emerging need for a consensus on the best treatment strategy for L-LCNEC and for the identification of new therapeutic options. In this review, we will discuss the key aspects of L-LCNEC management with the aim to clarify the most controversial issues.


Large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma Lung neuroendocrine tumor Chemotherapy Treatment options 



The authors want to thank Luca Giacomelli for his valuable support in medical writing assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe Lo Russo
    • 1
  • Sara Pusceddu
    • 1
  • Claudia Proto
    • 1
  • Marianna Macerelli
    • 1
  • Diego Signorelli
    • 1
  • Milena Vitali
    • 1
  • Monica Ganzinelli
    • 1
  • Rosaria Gallucci
    • 1
  • Nicoletta Zilembo
    • 1
  • Marco Platania
    • 1
  • Roberto Buzzoni
    • 1
  • Filippo de Braud
    • 1
  • Marina Chiara Garassino
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical OncologyFondazione IRCCS, Istituto Nazionale dei TumoriMilanoItaly

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