- Small-cell carcinoma
Small cell carcinoma Classification and external resources
Micrograph of a small cell carcinoma of the lung showing cells with nuclear moulding, minimal amount of cytoplasm and stippled chromatin. FNA specimen. Field stain.
ICD-O: M8041/3 MedlinePlus 000122 eMedicine med/1336 MeSH D018288
Small cell carcinoma (sometimes rendered as "small-cell carcinoma" or "Oat-cell carcinoma") is a type of highly malignant cancer that most commonly arises within the lung, although it can occasionally arise in other body sites, such as the cervix and prostate.
Small cell carcinoma is an undifferentiated neoplasm composed of primitive-appearing cells.
In a not-insignificant number of cases, small cell carcinomas can produce ectopic hormones, including adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and anti-diuretic hormone (ADH). Ectopic production of large amounts of ADH leads to syndrome of inappropriate production of anti-diuretic hormone (SIADH).
Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) is a well-known paraneoplastic condition linked to small cell carcinoma.
When associated with the lung, it is sometimes called "oat cell carcinoma" due to the flat cell shape and scanty cytoplasm.
It is thought to originate from neuroendocrine cells (APUD cells) in the bronchus called Feyrter cells (named for Friedrich Feyrter). Hence, they express a variety of neuroendocrine markers, and may lead to ectopic production of hormones like ADH and ACTH that may result in paraneoplastic syndromes and Cushing's syndrome. Approximately half of all individuals diagnosed with Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) will eventually be found to have a small cell carcinoma of the lung.
Small cell carcinoma is most often more rapidly and widely metastatic than non-small cell lung carcinoma (and hence staged differently). There is usually early involvement of the hilar and mediastinal lymph nodes. 
Combined small cell lung carcinoma (c-SCLC)
Small cell lung carcinoma can occur in combination with a wide variety of other histological variants of lung cancer, including extremely complex malignant tissue admixtures. . When it is found with one or more differentiated forms of lung cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma or adenocarcinoma, the malignant tumor is then diagnosed and classified as a combined small cell lung carcinoma (c-SCLC). C-SCLC is the only currently recognized subtype of SCLC.
Although combined small cell lung carcinoma is currently staged and treated similarly to "pure" small cell carcinoma of the lung, recent research suggests surgery might improve outcomes in very early stages of this tumor type.
Smoking is a significant etiological factor.
Symptoms and signs are as for other lung cancers. In addition, because of their neuroendocrine cell origin, small cell carcinomas will often secrete substances that result in paraneoplastic syndromes such as Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome.
Small cell carcinoma of the prostate
In the prostate, small cell carcinoma (SCCP) is a rare form of cancer (approx 1% of PC). Due to the fact that there is little variation in prostate specific antigen levels, this form of cancer is normally diagnosed at an advanced stage, after metastasis.
It can metastasize to the brain.
Treatment for small cell lung carcinoma
Small cell lung carcinoma has long been divided into two clinicopathological stages, including limited stage (LS) and extensive stage (ES). The stage is generally determined by the presence or absence of metastases, whether or not the tumor appears limited to the thorax, and whether or not the entire tumor burden within the chest can feasibly be encompassed within a single radiotherapy portal.
In cases of LS-SCLC, combination chemotherapy (often including cyclophosphamide, cisplatinum, doxorubicin, etoposide, vincristine and/or paclitaxel) is administered together with concurrent chest radiotherapy (RT).
Chest RT has been shown to improve survival in LS-SCLC.
Exceptionally high objective initial response rates (RR) of between 60% and 90% are seen in LS-SCLC using chemotherapy alone, with between 45% and 75% of individuals showing a "complete response" (CR), which is defined as the disappearance of all radiological and clinical signs of tumor. Unfortunately, relapse is the rule, and median survival is only 18 to 24 months.
Because SCLC usually metastasizes widely very early on in the natural history of the tumor, and because nearly all cases respond dramatically to CT and/or RT, there has been little role for surgery in this disease since the 1970s. However, recent work suggests that in cases of small, asymptomatic, node-negative SCLC's ("very limited stage"), surgical excision may improve survival when used prior to chemotherapy.("adjuvant chemotherapy").
In ES-SCLC, combination chemotherapy is the standard of care, with radiotherapy added only to palliate symptoms such as dyspnea, pain from liver or bone metastases, or for treatment of brain metastases, which, in small cell lung carcinoma, typically have a rapid, if temporary, response to whole brain radiotherapy.
Combination chemotherapy consists of a wide variety of agents, including cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine and carboplatin. Response rates are high even in extensive disease, with between 15% and 30% of subjects having a complete response to combination chemotherapy, and the vast majority having at least some objective response. Responses in ES-SCLC are often of short duration, however.
If complete response to chemotherapy occurs in a subject with SCLC, then prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) is often used in an attempt to prevent the emergence of brain metastases. Although this treatment is often effective, it can cause hair loss and fatigue. Prospective randomized trials with almost two years follow-up have not shown neurocognitive ill-effects. Meta-analyses of randomized trials confirm that PCI provides significant survival benefits.
All in all, small cell carcinoma is very responsive to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and in particular, regimens based on platinum-containing agents. However, most people with the disease relapse, and median survival remains low.
In limited stage disease, median survival with treatment is 14–20 months, and about 20% of patients with limited stage small cell lung carcinoma live 5 years or longer.
The prognosis is far worse in extensive stage small cell lung carcinoma, with treatment, median survival is just 8–13 months, and only 1-5% of patients with extensive stage small cell lung carcinoma treated with chemotherapy live 5 years or longer.
- Lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Brown-Sequard Syndrome
- Cervical cancer
- Combined small cell lung carcinoma
- ^ "small-cell carcinoma" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
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- Neuroimmunology - by Abid R Karim, Birmingham UK, at University of Birmingham Medical School
- Image at Tulane University
- -986382333 at GPnotebook
Glandular and epithelial neoplasms (ICD-O 8010-8589) Epithelium GlandsOther/multipleAdnexal and
skin appendage (8390-8429)Cystic, mucinous,
and serous (8440-8499)Cystic generalSerousDuctal, lobular,
and medullary (8500-8549)Lobular carcinoma in situ · Invasive lobular carcinomaAcinar cell (8550-8559)
OtherComplex epithelial (8560-8589) see also Template:Epithelium and epithelial tissue Tumors: Mediastinal tumors/Thoracic neoplasm/respiratory neoplasia (C30–C34/D14, 160–163/212.0–212.4) Upper RT Lower RTTracheal tumorSmall-cell carcinomaNon-carcinomaBy location Pleura Tumors: male urogenital neoplasia · genital neoplasia (C60–C63/D29, 185–187/222) InternalSex cord-gonadal stromalSertoli-Leydig cell tumour (Sertoli cell tumor, Leydig cell tumor) ExternalPenis
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Look at other dictionaries:
Small cell carcinoma — DiseaseDisorder infobox Name = Small cell carcinoma ICD10 = ICD9 = ICDO = ICDO|8041|3 Caption = Histopathologic image of small cell carcinoma of the lung. CT guided core needle biopsy. H E stain. OMIM = OMIM mult = MedlinePlus = 000122… … Wikipedia
small cell carcinoma — small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) a common, highly malignant form of bronchogenic carcinoma in the wall of a major bronchus, occurring mainly in middle aged individuals with a history of tobacco smoking; it is radiosensitive and has small oval… … Medical dictionary
small cell carcinoma — noun highly malignant carcinoma composed of small round or egg shaped cells with little cytoplasm; lung cancers are frequently oat cell carcinomas • Syn: ↑oat cell carcinoma • Hypernyms: ↑carcinoma … Useful english dictionary
small-cell carcinoma — noun see small cell lung cancer … Useful english dictionary
small cell carcinoma — Common malignant neoplasm of bronchus. Cells of the tumour have endocrine like characteristics and may secrete one or more of a wide range of hormones, especially regulatory peptides like bombesin … Dictionary of molecular biology
nonâ€“small cell carcinoma — nonâ€“small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) a general term comprising all lung carcinomas except small cell carcinoma, and including adenocarcinoma of the lung, large cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma … Medical dictionary
small-cell lung cancer — n cancer of a highly malignant form that affects the lungs, tends to metastasize to other parts of the body, and is characterized by small round or oval cells resembling oat grains and having a high ratio of nuclear protoplasm to cytoplasm called … Medical dictionary
small-cell lung cancer — SCLC a type of bronchial carcinoma characterized by small cells (or oat cells), small round or oval cells with darkly staining nuclei and scanty indistinct cytoplasm. Small cell carcinoma is usually related to smoking and accounts for about one… … The new mediacal dictionary
small-cell lung cancer — noun Date: 1975 cancer of a highly malignant form that affects the lungs, tends to metastasize to other parts of the body, and is characterized by a small round or oval cells which resemble oat grains and have little cytoplasm called small cell… … New Collegiate Dictionary
small-cell lung cancer — ˈ ̷ ̷ ˌ ̷ ̷ noun : cancer of a highly malignant form that affects the lungs, tends to metastasize to other parts of the body and is characterized by small round or oval cells resembling oat grains and having little cytoplasm called also small… … Useful english dictionary