Immunotherapy in small cell lung cancer: one step at a time: a narrative review

D.W. Dumoulin*, A.M.C. Dingemans, J.G.J.V. Aerts, J. Remon, D.K.M. De Ruysscher, L.E.L. Hendriks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Chemotherapy with or without radiotherapy has been the standard of care for many years for patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Despite exceptionally high responses (up to 80%) with chemotherapy, the majority of patients relapse rapidly within weeks to months after treatment completion. Therefore, new and better treatment options are necessary. Recently, synergistic activity has been reported for the addition of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) to standard platinum-based chemotherapy in the therapeutic strategy of advanced SCLC. For the first time after several decades, a significant survival improvement was achieved for this population. However, the overwhelming majority of patients do not respond to ICI, or relapse rapidly. There is need for better knowledge about the biology, histopathologic features, and molecular pathways of SCLC. This can probably help to identify the optimal predictive biomarkers, which are warranted to develop an individual therapeutic strategy including the rational use of a combination of immunotherapeutic agents. Here, we provide an overview of the rationale for and clinical results of the completed and ongoing trials using different strategies of immunotherapy in SCLC. In addition, opportunities for further improvement of therapies will be discussed, including the addition of radiotherapy, co-stimulatory antibodies, and other immune modifying agents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2970-2987
Number of pages18
JournalTranslational Lung Cancer Research
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Small cell lung cancer (SCLC)
  • immunotherapy
  • checkpoint inhibition
  • TUMOR MUTATIONAL BURDEN
  • PERSONALIZED PEPTIDE VACCINATION
  • PLUS PLATINUM-ETOPOSIDE
  • THORACIC RADIOTHERAPY
  • OPEN-LABEL
  • PHASE-III
  • IMMUNE MICROENVIRONMENT
  • MULTICENTER PHASE-2
  • PD-L1 EXPRESSION
  • BRAIN METASTASES

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