What Makes Small Cell Unique
The treatment of small cell lung cancer, as opposed to non-small cell lung cancer and basically all cancers, is special in one way. And that’s the performance status of three, where somebody stays sitting or laying down for over 50% of the day, that performance status usually is not recommended to give intense chemotherapy, except in small cell lung cancer.
The reason for that is, if you are starting treatment for the first time, it’s usually so sensitive to a platinum drug that they still recommend challenging it. One, because of its aggressiveness, the chance of survival and the time of survival is quite low. And two, the chances of pulling out of that and having an improved survival with a decent quality of life when that cancer has been shrunk down, is pretty high. That’s what makes extensive small cell lung cancer or limited where you’re still going for a cure unique compared to other cancers.
The ECOG or performance status of three still recommends giving intense chemotherapy, just because usually it’s so responsive to that platinum drug, as well as, it’s aggressive enough to where not treating really has very poor survival times.
1. The treatment of small cell lung cancer is unique among cancers in that chemotherapy is still recommended even with a performance status of three (where somebody stays sitting or laying down for over 50% of the day.)
2. That performance status usually is not recommended to give intense chemotherapy.