Advice to Community Oncologists Treating SCLC


Gene G. Finley, MD, provides advice to community oncologists who are treating patients with small cell lung cancer.

Gene G. Finley, MD, medical oncologist at Allegheny Clinic Medical Oncology of Allegheny Health Network, provides advice to community oncologists who are treating patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC).

According to Finley, a number of new treatments are being developed for patients with SCLC. The use of immunotherapy in particular has generated a lot of interest for experts over recent years, and etoposide/platinum regimens remain an active and feasible option for this patient population.

While advances are helping combat the growth of SCLC, Finley notes that the best thing clinicians can do for patients with lung cancer is encourage smoking cessation.


0:08 | For the most part, the backbone of etoposide and platinum is one that most community oncologists are familiar with. I think the vast majority of us medical oncologists are aware of how fast small cell lung cancers can grow, and even that varies quite a bit. I think the most important thing for them is to make the diagnosis prompt and Institute treatment when you find out they have very high-grade neuroendocrine cancers with a very high Ki67. We deliver extremely high-quality care in community cancer centers nationwide. There's so much push technology that brings awareness of newer treatments. That is much better than it ever was before. The information dissemination has really helped not only the doctors and nurses, but the patients themselves who become their own advocates. That's been a welcome change from the ways that it was when I was starting out.

1:27 | The best thing we could do for lung cancer patients is to encourage smoking cessation. If you look at lung cancer incidence, it's starting to decline, especially in the United States because many people have stopped smoking. In other parts of the world, the prevalence of smoking has not changed much. Certainly, in China, the prevalence of smoking is extraordinarily high, and worldwide it is as well. I think prevention is the most efficient way to do this. Unfortunately, nicotine is extremely addicting and it's very difficult to get people to stop smoking once they've started. Public health dollars spent in prevention are going to pay many dividends. That would be the biggest impact we could make over the next few years if we can get more people to stop smoking cigarettes.

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