Immunotherapy Moves to SCLC, But Chemotherapy Is Still a Mainstay

Small cell lung cancer is very sensitive to chemotherapy, but immunotherapy offers another line of treatment for when chemotherapy stops working.

Even with the addition of checkpoint inhibitors to the small cell lung cancer (SCLC) space, chemotherapy is still a mainstay, as the disease is highly sensitive to it, explains Beth Sandy, MSN, CRNP, a nurse at the Abramson Cancer Center of University of Pennsylvania.

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I don't think we're ever going to see us move away from chemotherapy in small cell [lung cancer]. But, the addition of immunotherapy to it has been an improvement.

The other part of it is that even though etoposide and platinum [-based drugs] seem to have really good response rates -- they do have really good response rates -- then we see in later lines of therapy, the chemotherapy is not working as well. So it's exciting to have another drug that's available in that setting.