Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) accounts for approximately 15% of all lung cancer cases and is particularly aggressive with a 5 year survival rate of just 5-10%. Historically, drug development in this indication has been largely unsuccessful, meaning drug treatment options are limited and the use of platinum-based therapy has remained the cornerstone of therapy for many years. SCLC treatment is yet to benefit from the emergence of targeted therapies and biomarker-associated treatments used in other oncology indications. Immune checkpoint inhibitors are now in Phase III clinical development for SCLC; these novel therapies hold promise of fulfilling the high unmet need for more effective therapies in this difficult-to-treat indication. 

Questions Answered:

  • The highest incidence of SCLC occurs in people aged 50-85; smoking being the greatest risk factor. What is the size of the U.S. and EU5 SCLC patient populations and how will it change over a 10-year period? What are the key SCLC drug-treatable populations of commercial interest?
  • Treatment of SCLC involves chemotherapy, radiotherapy and very rarely surgery. What type of practitioner assumes care of SCLC patients and how does it differ depending on the stage of the disease and/or the geographical market? How are physicians currently managing treatment of SCLC patients?
  •  Immune checkpoint inhibitors are now in Phase III clinical development for SCLC. What do experts interviewed think about the prospects of these emerging therapies? Which agents, if any, do we forecast will launch for the treatment of SCLC and how, if at all, will these launches impact the SCLC landscape?
  •  We have identified several unmet needs, challenges, and opportunities in the SCLC landscape. What are the key unmet needs in the treatment of SCLC according to interviewed thought leaders? Is it likely that these unmet needs will be addressed or partially addressed during our forecast period?


Market covered: United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Primary research: 8 country-specific interviews with thought-leading medical oncologists.

Epidemiology: Diagnosed incident cases of SCLC cancer by stage of disease. Clinical- and market-relevant drug-treatable populations.

Population segments in market forecast: Limited-disease SCLC; first-line extensive-disease SCLC; second-line extensive-disease SCLC; third-line extensive-disease SCLC.

Emerging therapies: Coverage of Phase III and select Phase II drugs. Coverage of select preclinical and Phase I products.

Table of contents

  • Disease Landscape & Forecast
    • Executive Summary
      • Introduction
        • Key Parameters of the Small-Cell Lung Cancer Landscape
      • Note About Our Epidemiology Estimates
    • Commercial Outlook
      • Market Outlook
        • Key Findings
        • Drivers and Constraints
    • Forecast
      • Forecast
        • Forecast Sales of Key Therapies in Small-Cell Lung Cancer in 2014
        • Forecast Sales Summary of Key Therapies in Small-Cell Lung Cancer in 2024
    • Etiology and Pathophysiology
      • Etiology and Pathophysiology
        • Etiology
        • Pathophysiology
        • Key Pathways and Drug Targets
    • Epidemiology Overview
      • Introduction
        • Overview
        • Disease Definition
        • Growth over the Forecast Period
        • Note About Our Epidemiology Estimates
      • Epidemiology Populations
        • Diagnosed Incident Cases of Small-Cell Lung Cancer
        • Drug-Treated Cases of Small-Cell Lung Cancer
    • Current Treatment Overview
      • Introduction
        • Treatment Overview
      • Diagnosis
        • Diagnosis of Small-Cell Lung Cancer
        • Screening of Small-Cell Lung Cancer
        • Treatment Providers and Referral Patterns
      • Treatment Goals
      • Key Current Therapies
        • Commonly Prescribed Drugs
      • Medical Practice
        • Treatment Guidelines
        • Drug Selection
        • Generalized Treatment Decision Tree for Small-Cell Lung Cancer
    • Unmet Need Overview
      • Attainment of Unmet Needs
        • Current Attainment of Unmet Needs in Small-Cell Lung Cancer
        • Key Challenges and Unmet Need
      • Top Unmet Needs in Small-Cell Lung Cancer
    • Emerging Therapies Overview
      • Late-Phase Pipeline Analysis
        • Estimated Launch Dates of Key Emerging Therapies for the Treatment of Small-Cell Lung Cancer
      • Orphan Drug Designation
        • Orphan Drug Provisions: United States
        • Orphan Drug Provisions: Europe
      • Key Emerging Therapies
        • Immunotherapies
        • Cytotoxic Alkylating Agents
        • Notch Pathway Targeted Molecules
        • Hedgehog inhibitors
        • Aurora Kinase A Inhibitors
        • Angiogenesis inhibitors
        • Mitochondrial inhibitors
        • PARP Inhibitors
      • Early-Phase Pipeline Analysis
      • Development Discontinuations and Failures in Small-Cell Lung Cancer
        • High-Profile Development Discontinuations and Failures
    • Access and Reimbursement Overview
      • Region-Specific Reimbursement Practices
        • United States
        • EU5
    • Methodology
      • Methodology
        • Sales Forecast Overview
        • Drug-Treatment Rate Assumptions
        • Patient Share Assumptions
        • General Sources of Data
        • Dosing, Cycles of Therapy, and Compliance
        • Price per Cycle and Course Assumptions, 2024
    • Appendix
      • Experts Interviewed
      • Bibliography

Author(s): Izabela Ammermann, PhD

Izabela Ammermann, , is a business insights analyst in the oncology division at Decision Resources Group. She is a specialist in multiple myeloma and pancreatic cancer and has expertise in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Dr. Ammermann holds a in molecular biology from the Technical University of Munich and a in biotechnology from the Polish Academy of Sciences. Prior to joining Decision Resources Group, Dr. Ammermann worked as a postdoctoral research associate (Marie Curie research fellow) at Imperial College London. Dr. Ammermann has published several peer-reviewed papers.

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