Discussing the Need for Better Second-Line Options in SCLC


Ariel Lopez-Chavez, MD, emphasizes the critical need for improved second-line therapies in small cell lung cancer.

Ariel Lopez-Chavez, MD, medical oncologist, director of precision medicine and developmental therapeutics at Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute, discusses some of the unmet needs that still exist in the small cell lung cancer (SCLC) space.

Currently, carboplatin or cisplatin with etoposide combined with atezolizumab (Tecentriq) or durvalumab (Imfinzi) followed by maintenance therapy are FDA-approved options in the frontline setting for patients with SCLC. In addition, lurbinectedin (Zepzelca) and topotecan are options currently available for second-line treatment.

Despite the ongoing development of new agents like these, treating patients with SCLC remains a challenge for oncologists, especially when compared with other types of cancers. In this interview with Targeted OncologyTM, Lopez-Chavez highlights the current use of myelosuppressive agents in the second line setting. He also discusses that developing drugs with better safety profiles, specifically for second-line SCLC, is considered a top unmet need in order to improve patient outcomes.

Here, Lopez-Chavez emphasizes the critical need for improved second-line therapies in SCLC.


0:09 | The entire space of small cell lung cancer is a high unmet medical need because even though we have these new agents…compared with other tumor types, there is still a high unmet need. In the second-line setting in particular, we have high myelosuppressive agents.

0:39 | We are going to bring more compounds with better safety profiles, and it will be important in small cell lung cancer, in particular in the second line, because these patients are really sick and small cell lung cancer is a hard disease to treat, and in particular, most patients will not see more than 2 lines of therapy. It is very important to bring, in particular in the second-line setting, that drugs have a better safety profile. I think that is 1 of the biggest unmet needs now for this patient population.

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