A More Precise Approach to Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment

Partners | <b>Cancer Treatment Centers of America</b>

In season 3, episode 10 of Targeted Talks, Nitika Sharma, MD, discusses FDA-approved and promising novel therapies for the treatment of small cell lung cancer.

In season 3, episode 10 of Targeted Talks, Nitika Sharma, MD, a medical oncologist and hematologists at Cancer Treatment Centers of America Atlanta, discusses FDA-approved and promising novel therapies for the treatment of small cell lung cancer (SCLC).

Sharma begins with explaining the prognosis of patients with SCLC, specifically those who present with extensive-stage disease. The 5-year survival rate for these patients is less than 7% and underscores the need for therapies to better treat extensive-stage SCLC (ES-SCLC). For more than 40 years, the standard of care for these patients has been platinum etoposide, and responses are achieved in about 60% of patients. However, the responses are not durable.

Newer immunotherapies have been shown to improve responses, survival, and response duration in patienta with ES-SCLC. For example, the FDA recently granted approval to durvalumab (Imfinzi) for the treatment of patients with ES-SCLC and lurbinectedin for the treatment of patients metastatic SCLC. In addition, drugs like serpulilimab (HLX10), toripalimab, and irinotecan liposome injection (Onivyde) now have the FDA’s attention based on promising clinical trial data.

As the field continues to advance, Sharma explains that more focus should be centered on biomarkers and transcription factors.

“Small cell lung cancer is now being looked at with a molecular characterization, based on whether it's a cold tumor or a hot tumor. We know, in general, a cold tumor may respond to chemotherapy whereas a hot tumor may have better responses to the immunotherapy. So, this characterization of the small cell lung cancer is vital in exploring further treatment strategies for this tumor," Sharma explains.