Immunotherapy in small-cell lung cancer: from molecular promises to clinical challenges

A Pavan, I Attili, G Pasello, V Guarneri, P F Conte, L Bonanno

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Management of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) has not changed over the last decades. In more recent years, alterations of DNA repair machinery and other molecular pathways have been identified in SCLC and preclinical data suggest that dysregulation of these pathways might offer new therapeutic opportunities.While immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have had a major impact on the clinical outcome of several solid tumors, including non-small cell lung cancer, the potential role of ICIs is currently under investigation in SCLC and some promising data are available. However, several clinical and biological hurdles have to be overcome and predictive markers are still eagerly needed. Knowledge of molecular pathways specifically involved in SCLC growth and treatment resistance is essential for a more rational planning of new combinations including ICIs.The present manuscript summarizes the current clinical evidence on immunotherapy in SCLC, describes the molecular bases underlying treatment resistance and discusses the potentialities and the rationale of different therapeutic combinations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number205
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 5 2019


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