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Cover of Management of Small Cell Lung Cancer

Management of Small Cell Lung Cancer

Evidence Reports/Technology Assessments, No. 143

Investigators: , PhD, , RN, MLS, , PharmD, and , PhD.

Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); .
Report No.: 06-E016

Structured Abstract

Objectives:

This is a systematic review of evidence on issues in managing small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Key questions addressed are: the sequence, timing and dosing characteristics of primary thoracic radiotherapy (TRTx) for limited-stage disease; primary TRTx for extensive-stage disease; effect of prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI); positron emission tomography (PET) for staging; treatment of mixed histology tumors; surgery; and second- and subsequent-line treatment for relapsed/progressive disease.

Data Sources:

MEDLINE®, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Register

Review Methods:

The review methods were defined prospectively in a written protocol. We sought randomized controlled trials that compared the interventions of interest. Where randomized trials were limited or nonexistent, we sought additional studies. We performed meta-analysis of studies that compared early and late TRTx.

Results:

The strongest evidence available for this Report is a patient-level meta-analysis showing that PCI improves survival of SCLC patients who achieved complete response following primary therapy from 15.3 percent to 20.7 percent (p=0.01). No other question yielded evidence so robust. The case for concurrent over sequential radiation delivery rests largely on a single multicenter trial. Support for early concurrent therapy comes from one multicenter trial, but two other multicenter trials found no advantage. Our meta-analysis did not find significant reductions in 2- and 3-year mortality for early TRTx. Favorable results from a single-center trial on TRTx for extensive stage disease need replication in a multicenter setting. For other questions (i.e., management of mixed histology disease; surgery for early limited SCLC), relevant comparative studies were nonexistent. PET may be more sensitive in detecting disease outside the brain than conventional staging modalities, but studies were of poor quality and reliable estimates of performance are not possible.

Conclusions:

PCI improves survival among those with a complete response to primary therapy. A research agenda is needed to optimize the effectiveness of TRTx and its components. PET for staging may be useful, but its role awaits clarification by rigorous studies. No relevant evidence was available to address management of mixed histology disease or surgery for early limited SCLC.

Contents

Prepared for: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.1 Contract No. 290-02-0026. Prepared by: Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center Evidence-Based Practice Center, Chicago, Illinois.

Suggested citation:

Seidenfeld J, Samson DJ, Bonnell CJ, Ziegler KM, Aronson N. Management of Small Cell Lung Cancer. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment No. 143. (Prepared by Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-02-0026.) AHRQ Publication No. 06-E016. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. July 2006.

This report is based on research conducted by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) under contract to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Rockville, MD (Contract No. 290-02-0026). The findings and conclusions in this document are those of the author(s) who are responsible for its content, and do not necessarily represent the views of AHRQ. No statement in this report should be construed as an official position of AHRQ or of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The information in this report is intended to help clinicians, employers, policymakers, and others make informed decisions about the provision of health care services. This report is intended as a reference and not as a substitute for clinical judgment.

This report may be used, in whole or in part, as the basis for development of clinical practice guidelines and other quality enhancement tools, or as a basis for reimbursement and coverage policies. AHRQ or U.S. Department of Health and Human Services endorsement of such derivative products may not be stated or implied.

No investigators have any affiliations or financial involvement (e.g., employment, consultancies, honoraria, or stock options, expert testimony, grants, or patients received or pending, or royalties) that conflict with material presented in this report.

1

540 Gaither Road, Rockville, MD 20850. www​.ahrq.gov

Bookshelf ID: NBK38159

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