Adding either vismodegib or cixutumumab to chemotherapy in patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC-ED) may not significantly improve progression-free or overall survival, according to a study published in Cancer.1

Researchers led by Chandra Belani, MD, of Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, looked at 152 patients with newly diagnosed SCLC-ED who were randomly assigned to receive 4 21-day cycles of cisplatin and etoposide alone or in combination with either vismodegib or cixutumumab. Additionally, circulating tumor cells (CTCs) were isolated with the Veridex CellSearch platform at baseline.

Primary endpoint was progression-free survival. Patient demographics and disease characteristics were found to be well-balanced between the 3 arms except for the higher rate with a performance status of 0 in patients given vismodegib.

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They found that median progression-free survival was 4.4 months in the group treated with cisplatin and etoposide alone, 4.4 in those given vismodegib, and 4.6 in those given cixutumumab.

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Median overall survival times were 8.8 months in the cisplatin and etoposide group, 9.8 in the vismodegib group, and 10.1 in the cixutumumab group, with response rates of 48%, 56%, and 50%, respectively.

At baseline, median overall survival was 10.5 months for those with low CTC counts and 7.2 months for those with high CTC counts.


  1. Belani CP, Dahlberg SE, Rudin CM, et al. Vismodegib or cixutumumab in combination with standard chemotherapy for patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer: A trial of the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group (E1508). [published online ahead of print May 10, 2016.] Cancer. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30062.