Treatment of small cell lung cancer

G. Rosti, U. De Giorgi, P. Giovanis, A. Cariello, C. Dazzi, M. Marangolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Small cell lung cancer represents approximately 25% of all lung cancers. During the 1980s enormous efforts have been made to try to create a breakthrough in this peculiar disease but, despite the excellent results obtained in the early 1980s with multidrug chemotherapy, no significant improvements have been achieved in the 1990s. Overall response rates are in the range of 60-90% for patients with limited disease and 40-70% for those with extended disease, with pathological remissions in the range of 20-50%. Nevertheless, the majority of patients with small cell lung cancer continues to relapse and ultimately dies of the disease. New strategies under clinical evaluation are the multimodality approach, such as concurrent chemoradiation, and the use of dose-intensive regimes or even high-dose chemotherapy supported by autologous haemopoietic rescue. In the near future other strategies will be possible, owing to the tremendous increase in the knowledge of biological properties of this disease. This article aims to summarize the research so far, the current strategies and the probable future of the treatment of small cell lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-434
Number of pages8
JournalMonaldi Archives for Chest Disease - Cardiac Series
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Small cell lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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