Does surgery or radiation therapy impact survival for patients with extrapulmonary small cell cancers?

Robert A. Grossman, Felipe E. Pedroso, Margaret M. Byrne, Leonidas G. Koniaris, Subhasis Misra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Extrapulmonary small cell carcinomas (EPSCC) are rare tumors where therapy remains poorly defined. We sought to determine the impact of surgical extirpation and radiation therapy for outcomes of EPSCC. Methods: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results: (SEER) database was queried for patients with EPSCC which were further categorized by site and evaluated for survival by specific treatment strategy. Results: We identified 94,173 patients with small cell carcinoma of which 88,605 (94.1%) and 5,568 (5.9%) had pulmonary small cell carcinoma and EPSCC, respectively. EPSCC patients were subdivided by site with the following proportions: genitourinary (24.1%), gastrointestinal (22.1%), head and neck (7.1%), breast (4%), and miscellaneous (42.7%). Overall EPSSC and specifically gastrointestinal disease had significantly improved median, 5- and 10-year survival with surgery and/or radiation for all stages and sizes. For all EPSCCs multivariate analysis revealed age (>50), gender (female), stage (regional, distant), radiation, and surgery to be independent predictors of survival. Conclusions: Although outcomes for EPSCC remains poor, both surgery and radiation is shown to significantly improve median, 5- and 10-year survival rates. EPSCC patients who are potential candidates for surgical resection or radiation therapy may benefit from these treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)604-612
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of surgical oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011


  • oncology
  • outcomes
  • SEER
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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