Potential Occurrence of Breakthrough Therapy for Malignant Small Cell Lung Cancer

To date, there are no approved targeted therapies for malignant small cell lung cancer (SCLC), due to no treatment advances in 30 years. However, Two novel researches lay the foundation for future research and have the potential to advance treatments for this highly malignant cancer.


A study, entitled with “RET Mutation and Expression in Small Cell Lung Cancer,” was published in the journal Thoracic Oncology and found a new mutation in SCLC which may play a role in the disease development. The researchers found that the genetic mutation, called RET (rearranged during transfection), was linked to rapid cell growth.

The other study, published in PLOS One, outlines a novel approach to identify new drug therapies for SCLC based on tumors’ genomic profiles. The research team discovered new molecular targets for treating the disease by extracting data from SCLC tumors to examine drug sensitivity. Through this analysis, they outlined a promising new approach to predict which cancer-fighting drugs would be the most broadly effective at slowing tumor growth.

The two studies enabled us to identify which molecules are implicated in driver mutation and which drugs may be the most useful in which types of tumors. Small cell lung cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers and these studies have yielded small but important therapeutic insights into this disease.


1. RET Mutation and Expression in Small-Cell Lung Cancer. Journal of Thoracic Oncology, 2014; 9 (9): 1316

2. Genomic characterisation of small cell lung cancer patient-derived xenografts generated from endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration specimens. PLoS One. 2014 Sep 5;9(9):e106862.