Small cell lung cancer 1973-1983: early progress and recent obstacles

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1984 Apr;10(4):515-39. doi: 10.1016/0360-3016(84)90032-4.


The recognition that the vast majority of patients with small cell lung cancer have distant metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis led to the use of systemic chemotherapy and consequent major improvements in survival in the early to mid-1970's. In the past five years, however, the pace of therapeutic advances has slowed. Recently evaluated treatment strategies, including more intensive induction chemotherapy, "late intensive" therapy of responding patients, alternation of chemotherapeutic regimens, integration of chest irradiation with drug therapy, large field irradiation, and reappraisal of the value of surgical resection, are discussed in this review. Advances in understanding of the cell biology of small cell lung cancer which may eventually lead to new forms of treatment are summarized.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Warfarin / therapeutic use


  • Warfarin