Advances in Small-Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) Translational Research

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2021 Apr 1;11(4):a038240. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a038240.


Over the past several years, we have witnessed a resurgence of interest in the biology and therapeutic vulnerabilities of small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). This has been driven in part through the development of a more extensive array of representative models of disease, including a diverse variety of genetically engineered mouse models and human tumor xenografts. Herein, we review recent progress in SCLC model development, and consider some of the particularly active avenues of translational research in SCLC, including interrogation of intratumoral heterogeneity, insights into the cell of origin and oncogenic drivers, mechanisms of chemoresistance, and new therapeutic opportunities including biomarker-directed targeted therapies and immunotherapies. Whereas SCLC remains a highly lethal disease, these new avenues of translational research, bringing together mechanism-based preclinical and clinical research, offer new hope for patients with SCLC.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mutation
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / drug therapy
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / genetics*
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / pathology
  • Translational Research, Biomedical
  • Whole Genome Sequencing