State-of-the-art considerations in small cell lung cancer brain metastases

Rimas V. Lukas _, Vinai Gondi, David O. Kamson, Priya Kumthekar and Ravi Salgia

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:71223-71233. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19333

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Rimas V. Lukas1, Vinai Gondi2, David O. Kamson3, Priya Kumthekar1 and Ravi Salgia4

1Department of Neurology, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA

2Department of Radiation Oncology, Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center Warrenville, Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center, Northwestern University, Warrenville, IL, USA

3Department of Neurology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

4Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics, City of Hope, Duarte, CA, USA

Correspondence to:

Rimas V. Lukas, email: [email protected]

Keywords: brain metastases, chemotherapy, pathophysiology, radiation therapy, small cell lung cancer

Received: May 18, 2017     Accepted: July 03, 2017     Published: July 18, 2017


Background: Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) frequently leads to development of brain metastases. These unfortunately continue to be associated with short survival. Substantial advances have been made in our understanding of the underlying biology of disease. This understanding on the background of previously evaluated and currently utilized therapeutic treatments can help guide the next steps in investigations into this disease with the potential to influence future treatments.

Design: A comprehensive review of the literature covering epidemiology, pathophysiology, imaging characteristics, prognosis, and therapeutic management of SCLC brain metastases was performed.

Results: SCLC brain metastases continue to have a poor prognosis. Both unique aspects of SCLC brain metastases as well as features seen more universally across other solid tumor brain metastases are discussed. Systemic therapeutic studies and radiotherapeutic approaches are reviewed.

Conclusions: A clearer understanding of SCLC brain metastases will help lay the framework for studies which will hopefully translate into meaningful therapeutic options for these patients.

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