Table 2 Small cell lung cancer: survival according to extent of disease at presentation [11] modified by therapy [12]
LD: tumour limited to one potential irradiation fieldED: not confined to one hemithorax, malignant pleural effusion or distant metastases
Median survival of all patients16–24 months6–12 months
5-year survival of all patients14%Rare
Supportive care3 months1.5 months
Single-agent chemotherapy6 months4 months
Combined chemotherapy10–14 months7–11 months
 5-year survival2–8%0–1%
Chemotherapy plus radiation12–16 months7–11 months
 5-year survival6–12%0–1%
  • LD: limited disease; ED: extensive disease.