Characteristics and outcomes of patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) detected with CT screening at a single health system

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

J Clin Oncol


Background: At diagnosis, the majority of SCLC patients have extensive-stage disease, and their median survival is only 13 months, even with the addition of checkpoint inhibitors. Previous CT screening trials did not reveal reduction in mortality for SCLC patients. The aim of our study was to analyze the baseline characteristics and clinical outcomes of SCLC patients diagnosed with low-dose CT scan as a part of lung cancer screening program. Methods: A retrospective chart review-based study of SCLC patients diagnosed clinically or by lung cancer screening between January 2018 and June 2022 at the Henry Ford Health System was conducted. Baseline characteristics, details of SCLC diagnosis and treatment, and outcome were recorded. Statistical analysis was performed using Chi-squared test, T-test and logrank test. Results: Of the 258 patients who met eligibility criteria, 34 were diagnosed by lung cancer screening. Patients diagnosed with screening tended to be older (mean age- 70.5 years vs. 67.3 years, p=0.010). There were no differences in gender distribution, race and smoking status. Mean smoking history was 43 pack-years in both groups. Among screen-detected patients, 73.5% had limited-stage disease compared to 36.6% among clinically detected patients (p<0.001). No significant difference in the presence of brain metastases at diagnosis was observed. Among screen-detected patients, 97.1% received any therapy compared to 85.3% among the clinically detected patients (p=0.105). Overall survival (OS) was significantly better in screen-detected patients, with a 3-year survival rate of 45.5% vs. 17% (p=0.00027). By multivariable analysis, OS was better in screen-detected patients (HR=0.37, 95% CI 0.20-0.68; p=0.001) (Table). There was no significant difference in progressionfree survival between the groups. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that SCLC patients diagnosed through the lung cancer screening program have better overall survival rates than those diagnosed clinically. These results suggest that developing appropriate screening measures may impact SCLCrelated mortality.

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PubMed ID

Not assigned.





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