Dr Simon Ekman, Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden
The majority of patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) are diagnosed with advanced disease and have a poor prognosis. There is a scarcity of new therapeutic agents with clinical efficacy for the treatment of SCLC. The targets that are currently being studied, are based on the molecular biology of SCLC. Thus, there is a need to identify molecular subtypes of SCLC, as defined by transcriptional regulators. Furthermore, there is a need for novel predictive biomarkers.
SCLC is a neuro-endocrine tumour with high-grade features. It represents approximately 12-15% of total new lung cancer diagnosis. There is a strong association with tobacco use; only 2% of these patients are never-smokers. The majority (70%) of cases present with advanced disease at diagnosis. Although response rates with first-line chemotherapy are high (approximately 75%), SCLC is characterised by rapid emergence of resistance, poor long-term survival rates (15-20% after two years and <...
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