Real-world evidence for immunotherapy in the first line setting in small cell lung cancer

Shira Sagie, Nitzan Maixner, Amos Stemmer, Anastasiya Lobachov, Jair Bar, Damien Urban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: Despite major progress over the past decade in the field of lung cancer care, only mild advances have occurred in Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC), with prognosis remaining poor. Based on two randomized clinical trials (RCTs), two checkpoint-inhibitors have recently been approved in extensive-SCLC with moderate improvements in median overall survival (OS). However, only limited data exist regarding the impact of immunotherapy in real-world SCLC patients. This study reports the efficacy of immunotherapy in the first-line treatment of extensive-stage SCLC patients in a real-world setting. Methods: a retrospective cohort study of all patients treated for extensive-SCLC with chemotherapy with or without immunotherapy, at a single center in Israel between October-2017 and July-2021. Patient characteristics, adverse-events and survival analyses were conducted. Results: Of 102 patients identified, 54 patients (53%) received immunotherapy in addition to chemotherapy. 34.7% of patients had a performance status (PS) of 2–4. Patients that received only chemotherapy were older, had more liver metastasis and a poorer PS. In the whole cohort, patients receiving immunotherapy had a significantly longer median OS (353 days vs 194 days, HR = 0.40p < 0.0001). After stratification by PS groups, survival analysis remained significantly longer in the PS 0–1 group (HR 0.43, p = 0.0036), with a trend for better survival in the PS 2–3 group. Multivariate analysis validated an OS advantage with immunotherapy (HR = 0.46, p = 0.004). Conclusion: We present evidence for the efficacy of immunotherapy in SCLC in a real-world setting. Although treatment groups differ in their baseline characteristics, it appears that even some patients not included in RCTs, such as poor PS, may benefit from the addition of immunotherapy to their treatment protocol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-141
Number of pages6
JournalLung Cancer
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Atezolizumab
  • Durvalumab
  • Immunotherapy
  • Real-world data
  • Small cell lung cancer (SCLC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research


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