Personalized Therapy of Small Cell Lung Cancer

  • Bryan J. Schneider
  • Gregory P. KalemkerianEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 890)


Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an aggressive, poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma with distinct clinical, pathological and molecular characteristics. Despite robust responses to initial chemotherapy and radiation, the prognosis of patients with SCLC remains poor with an overall 5-year survival rate of less than 10 %. Despite the fact that numerous molecularly targeted approaches have thus far failed to demonstrate clinical utility in SCLC, further advances will rely on better definition of the biological pathways that drive survival, proliferation and metastasis. Recent next-generation, molecular profiling studies have identified many new therapeutic targets in SCLC, as well as extreme genomic instability which explains the high degree of resistance. A wide variety of anti-angiogenic agents, growth factor inhibitors, pro-apoptotic agents, and epigenetic modulators have been evaluated in SCLC and many studies of these strategies are on-going. Perhaps the most promising approaches involve agents targeting cancer stem cell pathways and immunomodulatory drugs that interfere with the PD1 and CTLA-4 pathways. SCLC offers many barriers to the development of successful therapy, including limited tumor samples, inadequate preclinical models, high mutational burden, and aggressive tumor growth which impairs functional status and hampers enrollment on clinical trials.


Lung cancer Small cell Targeted therapy Immunotherapy Genetic profiling 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Hematology/OncologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Division of Hematology/OncologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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