Third-line chemotherapy for small cell lung cancer

WK de Jong*, NHT ten Hacken, HJM Groen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Efficacy of third-line chemotherapy treatment for small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is unknown. We present our experience with third-tine chemotherapy for recurrent SCLC. Between January 1996 and July 2004 all. consecutive patients treated for SCLC were retrospectively studied. We recorded patient characteristics, treatment details for each subsequent regimen, response to chemotherapy and survival. From 191 patients treated with chemotherapy 35 patients (18%) received third-tine chemotherapy. At the start of third-line therapy, median age was 58 years (range 36-77), male/female 54%/46%, and ECOG performance score was 0/1/2/3 in 15%/64%/12%/9% of patients. Median time from diagnosis tilt start of third-tine treatment was 15 months (range 5-34). Tumor response to first-tine, second-line, and third-line therapy was 91%, 51%, and 26%, respectively. Median survival time estimated from the start of third-tine treatment was 5 months (range 1-15). No toxic deaths were observed. Comparison of characteristics of patients who were treated with third-tine chemotherapy with patients treated with maximally two tines of chemotherapy revealed that those who received third-tine therapy were younger (p <0.001), had a better performance score (p <0.001), and had a better response to first-tine treatment (p = 0.004). In conclusion, third-line chemotherapy is still active in one in four SCLC patients. (C) 2006 Etsevier Iretand Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-342
Number of pages4
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2006


  • chemotherapy
  • small cell lung cancer
  • third-line
  • tumor response
  • survival
  • performance score

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