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Limited stage small cell lung cancer: Initial management

Authors
Elizabeth H Baldini, MD, MPH
Gregory P Kalemkerian, MD
Section Editors
Rogerio C Lilenbaum, MD, FACP
James R Jett, MD
Steven E Schild, MD
Deputy Editor
Sadhna R Vora, MD

INTRODUCTION

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a neuroendocrine tumor that represents about 15 percent of all lung cancers. SCLC occurs predominantly in smokers. (See "Cigarette smoking and other possible risk factors for lung cancer".)

SCLC is distinguished from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) by its rapid doubling time and high growth fraction, and the early development of metastases. SCLC usually presents with disseminated disease, and treatment strategies have focused on systemic therapy. For patients with limited stage disease, treatment also includes radiation therapy directed toward thoracic disease, as well as prophylactic treatment of the brain.

The initial management of patients with limited stage SCLC is reviewed here. Related topics include:

(See "Pathobiology and staging of small cell carcinoma of the lung".)

(See "Role of surgery in multimodality therapy for small cell lung cancer".)

                          

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Mon Sep 26 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2016.
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