Clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with small cell lung cancer detected by CT screening

Med Oncol. 2013;30(3):623. doi: 10.1007/s12032-013-0623-7. Epub 2013 Jun 6.


The present study was performed to evaluate the clinical characteristics and survival outcomes in patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) detected by low-dose computed tomography (CT). We retrospectively reviewed clinical records of patients with SCLC treated at our hospital between 1997 and 2011 and selected patients with SCLC detected by CT screening. We identified 12 patients (male/female 11/1; mean age 67.8 years old. Nine patients had limited disease (LD), and 3 had extensive disease (ED). Five LD patients underwent thoracic surgery, and the pathological staging information included stage IA (n = 1), IB (n = 1), IIA (n = 1), and IIIB (n = 2). Although 2 patients with pathological stages IA and IB had >10-year survival, the median survival times (MST) in LD and ED were 25 months (95 % CI 17.0-32.9) and 16 months (95 % CI; not evaluated), respectively. In addition, MST in 12 patients was not significantly different from that in SCLC patients in general care in our hospital. This analysis suggested that CT screening contributes to the detection of early-stage SCLC in patients that are potentially suitable for surgery, but it remains unclear how to improve clinical outcome in patients with SCLC.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / mortality
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods