Thoracic RT Yields Improved Survival in Extensive-Stage SCLC

“Thoracic radiotherapy along with prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) significantly prolonged progression-free and overall survival in patients with extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer, according to results of a new study presented at ASCO.

“Ben Slotman, MD, PhD, of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, presented the study and said that previous work had shown that PCI could improve both symptomatic brain metastases and overall survival at 1 year. ‘In that study, we also noticed that the vast majority of patients after chemotherapy had intrathoracic disease’ and intrathoracic progression, he said, which was the impetus for the new study using thoracic radiotherapy.”

Editor’s note: To learn more about new prospects for treating small cell lung cancer (SCLC), see our two-part blog feature on the topic.


'Liquid Biopsy' Offers New Way to Track Lung Cancer

“Scientists have shown how a lung cancer patient’s blood sample could be used to monitor and predict their response to treatment – paving the way for personalised medicine for the disease.

“The recent study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, also offers a method to test new therapies in the lab and to better understand how tumours become resistant to drugs.

“Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an aggressive disease with poor survival and new treatments are desperately needed. In many cases the tumour is inoperable and biopsies are difficult to obtain, giving scientists few samples with which to study the disease.”


Amrubicin and Cisplatin Inferior to Irinotecan Regimen for Small-Cell Lung Cancer

“A combination of amrubicin and cisplatin was inferior to irinotecan and cisplatin in chemotherapy-naïve patients with extensive disease small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) in a phase III trial conducted in Japan. The irinotecan regimen remains the standard treatment for these patients in that country.

“SCLC accounts for 13% of all new cases of lung cancer, and more than half of those patients present with extensive disease. Though SCLC can be very sensitive to chemotherapy, authors of the new study wrote that “rapid emergence of clinical drug resistance has resulted in poor prognosis, with almost all such patients dead with 2 years of initial diagnosis.” Investigators led by Miyako Satouchi, MD, PhD, of the Hyogo Cancer Center in Akashi, Japan, tested the amrubicin and cisplatin combination against irinotecan and cisplatin in 284 patients; results were published online ahead of print on March 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.”


ELCC 2014 News: Cabazitaxel Fails to Meet the Primary Endpoint in a Randomised Phase II Study in SCLC Patients

“Cabazitaxel failed to meet a primary endpoint of showing superior progression-free survival (PFS) and additionally showed less favourable median overall survival (OS) compared to topotecan in an international, randomised open-label phase II trial performed in patients with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), who had progressed during or after first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. The results were presented by Dr Tracey Evans of the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA in a proffered papers session at the 4th European Lung Cancer Conference (26-29 March 2014, Geneva, Switzerland).”

Editor’s note: This trial found disappointing results for the drug cabazitaxel in treating small cell lung cancer (SCLC). To read about promising SCLC treatments, see this blog feature.


Immune System-Boosting Treatments Show Long-Sought Successes for Lung Cancer Patients


In the past 2 years, cancer treatments known as immune therapies have become all the rage. However, they have actually been explored for decades, particularly in melanoma, and have produced some notable successes. Now, immune therapies are showing more and more promise for lung cancer. Continue reading…


New Clinical Trial for SCLC Now Enrolling Patients

While medical research has produced significant treatment innovations for many cancer types, so far little has changed for small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Current treatment guidelines recommend chemotherapy with etoposide (Etopophos) and cisplatin (Platinol), drugs than are more than 30 years old. Relapse is common, and survival rates remain low. Now, the new  PINNACLE clinical trial will investigate a new drug against SCLC. Patients with extensive-stage SCLC who have never received any other cancer treatment will be treated with Etopophos and Platinol either by themselves or in combination with the new drug, OMP-59R5. The drug acts by inhibiting NOTCH, a protein involved in cell development and growth that plays a role in various cancers. For more information, call 646-888-4203.


IMGN901 Demonstrates No Significant Benefit, Possible Harm in Small Cell Lung Cancer

The makers of lorvotuzumab mertansine (IMGN901) have halted a clinical trial investigating the use of the drug in extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). An independent monitoring group recommended ending the trial because patients treated with IMGN901 in addition to the chemotherapy agents etoposide (Etopophos) and carboplatin (Paraplatin) fared no better than patients treated with Etopophos and Paraplatin only. Furthermore, the patient group receiving IMGN901 appeared to have higher rates of infections and infection-related deaths, with at least one death potentially related to IMGN901.


New Prospects for Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients (Part II)


Small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) accounts for about 15% of lung cancers, but it is the deadliest form of lung malignancy. Only 6% of patients with SCLC survive beyond 5 years after diagnosis. In the last few years, new therapies—targeted therapies in particular—have been developed and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating other, more common forms of lung cancer such as adenocarcinoma. However, not much progress has been made in addressing SCLC, which is usually treated with a combination of fairly toxic chemotherapeutics and radiotherapy. Many patients respond to these harsh treatments (ie, their tumors shrink), but only transiently. The disease recurs within a few months to 1 year and, at that point, is no longer treatable. Continue reading…


The Janus Kinases Inhibitor AZD1480 Attenuates Growth of Small Cell Lung Cancers In Vitro and In Vivo

We investigated the potential of janus kinases (JAKs) inhibitor AZD1480 for treatment of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) in vitro and in vivo. Janus kinases inhibitor AZD1480 attenuated growth of SCLC cells in vitro and in vivo. Clinical development of anti-JAKs therapies in SCLC warrants further investigation.