Recent advances in the management of pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma

Elaine Shum, Matthew Stuart, Alain Borczuk, Feng Wang, Haiying Cheng, Balazs Halmos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma (PSC) is a unique and biologically fascinating group of poorly differentiated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), however it is highly aggressive with poor overall survival compared to other types of NSCLC. Radical surgery remains the standard of care for early localized disease but this has shown to result in high recurrence rates. Traditional palliative chemotherapy is associated with poor response in advanced/metastatic PSC. Recent comprehensive genetic studies and clinical observations are starting to elucidate the key oncogenic underpinnings of PSC. In particular, the recent identification of frequent genetic alterations of the MET gene leading to exon 14 skipping have yielded actionable targets for intervention with available MET inhibitors for a subset of PSC patients. Immunotherapy against immune checkpoints, such as anti-PD1/PD-L1 agents, have also raised great interest for the management of PSC. A growing understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of PSC is rapidly yielding novel approaches for the treatment of this deadly malignancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-416
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Review of Respiratory Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016


  • Chemotherapy
  • KRAS
  • MET
  • Pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma
  • Targeted therapy
  • immunotherapy
  • lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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