Immune Checkpoint Bloackade Leads SCLC Treatment


Ashish Saxena, MD, PhD, discusses the standard-of-care regimens use to treat patients with small cell lung cancer at every stage.

Ashish Saxena, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and assistant attending physician at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, discusses the standard-of-care regimens use to treat patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) at every stage.

Immunotherapy is important in the SCLC treatment landscape. According to Saxena, immune checkpoint inhibitor combinations are particularly important at every stage of disease. He discusses treatment in the front-line setting, limited-stage setting, and metastatic/extensive-stage setting.

In clinical trials, investigators are looking into the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors in combination with radiation, or chemotherapy. For patients with limited-stage disease, however, chemotherapy and radiation are still the standard of care. Studies are investigating the introduction of immune checkpoint blockade into treatment for limited-stage SCLC. For patients with extensive-stage disease, Saxena explains that chemotherapy in combination with immune checkpoint blockade is the golden standard.


0:08 | The addition of radiation to immune checkpoint therapy in small cell lung cancer is an area that's under active investigation. So, it's not currently standard of care. But there are a number of studies going on to see if adding radiation to immune therapy or in certain situations adding immune therapy to radiation and chemotherapy will improve outcomes in small cell lung cancer. So, for the limited stage setting, the standard of care right now is chemotherapy and radiation as definitive therapy, and there are studies looking to see if adding immune checkpoint blockade therapy to that either with radiation at the same time as radiation and chemotherapy or after radiation and chemotherapy, if those will enhance outcomes like survival.

1:11 | Then, in the metastatic setting or extensive-stage small cell lung cancer setting the standard of care is chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Whether [it’s] adding radiation either during or at some point in that treatment, it would improve outcomes.

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