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When do you get immunotherapy for small-cell lung cancer (SCLC)?

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SCLC is an aggressive disease that grows quickly. It often becomes resistant to chemotherapy drugs. Most of the time, the cancer returns.

That’s when it’s time to try immunotherapy. Because scientists are still studying the drugs, doctors are careful about when to prescribe them. They can cause serious side effects, like inflammation of the organs. Your doctor will weigh the pros and cons. Most people get immunotherapy after two or more rounds of chemotherapy.

SOURCES:

The Oncologist: “The Future of Immunotherapy in the Treatment of Small Cell Lung Cancer.”

American Cancer Society: “Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment,” “What Is Immunotherapy?”

Meaghan L. Khan, MD, oncologist, Baylor Scott & White Healthcare.

Antonio Giordano, MD, PhD, director, Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine and Center of Biotechnology, College of Science and Technology, Temple University; professor of pathology, University of Sienna, Italy.

Scott Antonia, MD, PhD, chair, department of thoracic oncology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL; professor, oncologic Sciences, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, FL.

NIH: “FAQ: ClinicalTrials.gov - Clinical Trial Phases.”

National Comprehensive Cancer Network: “About NCCN.”

Merck: “Frequently Asked Questions about pembrolizumab Expanded Access Program.”

Clinical Trials.gov: “SC16LD6.5 in Recurrent Small Cell Lung Cancer.”

OncoMed Pharmaceuticals: “Development Pipeline.”

Clinical Cancer Research: “Targeting Notch Signaling with a Notch2/Notch3 Antagonist (Tarextumab) Inhibits Tumor Growth and Decreases Tumor-Initiating Cell Frequency.”

Abstract presented at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting: “Safety and efficacy of single-agent rovalpituzumab tesirine (SC16LD6.5), a delta-like protein 3 (DLL3)-targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) in recurrent or refractory small cell lung cancer (SCLC).”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on December 28, 2016

SOURCES:

The Oncologist: “The Future of Immunotherapy in the Treatment of Small Cell Lung Cancer.”

American Cancer Society: “Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment,” “What Is Immunotherapy?”

Meaghan L. Khan, MD, oncologist, Baylor Scott & White Healthcare.

Antonio Giordano, MD, PhD, director, Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine and Center of Biotechnology, College of Science and Technology, Temple University; professor of pathology, University of Sienna, Italy.

Scott Antonia, MD, PhD, chair, department of thoracic oncology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL; professor, oncologic Sciences, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, FL.

NIH: “FAQ: ClinicalTrials.gov - Clinical Trial Phases.”

National Comprehensive Cancer Network: “About NCCN.”

Merck: “Frequently Asked Questions about pembrolizumab Expanded Access Program.”

Clinical Trials.gov: “SC16LD6.5 in Recurrent Small Cell Lung Cancer.”

OncoMed Pharmaceuticals: “Development Pipeline.”

Clinical Cancer Research: “Targeting Notch Signaling with a Notch2/Notch3 Antagonist (Tarextumab) Inhibits Tumor Growth and Decreases Tumor-Initiating Cell Frequency.”

Abstract presented at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting: “Safety and efficacy of single-agent rovalpituzumab tesirine (SC16LD6.5), a delta-like protein 3 (DLL3)-targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) in recurrent or refractory small cell lung cancer (SCLC).”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on December 28, 2016

NEXT QUESTION:

How can your doctor find out what treatment for small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is best for you?

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