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Lung Cancer Health Center

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Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Treatment Options by Stage

Limited-Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer

Treatment of limited-stage small cell lung cancer may include the following:

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  • Combination chemotherapy and radiation therapy to the chest. Radiation therapy to the brain may later be given to patients with complete responses.
  • Combination chemotherapy alone for patients who cannot be given radiation therapy.
  • Surgery followed by chemotherapy.
  • Surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • Radiation therapy to the brain may be given to patients who have had a complete response, to prevent the spread of cancer to the brain.
  • Clinical trials of new chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation treatments.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with limited stage small cell lung cancer. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your doctor about clinical trials that may be right for you. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Extensive-Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer

Treatment of extensive-stage small cell lung cancer may include the following:

  • Combination chemotherapy.
  • Radiation therapy to the brain, spine, bone, or other parts of the body where the cancer has spread, as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
  • Radiation therapy to the brain may be given to patients who have had a complete response, to prevent the spread of cancer to the brain.
  • Clinical trials of new chemotherapy treatments.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with extensive stage small cell lung cancer. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your doctor about clinical trials that may be right for you. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: May 28, 2015
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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