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Comprehensive Quality Care for Patients with Small Cell Lung Cancer

Lung cancer—the leading cause of cancer death in men and women worldwide at 1.80 million—is the second most diagnosed cancer in the United States, accounting for approximately a quarter of all cancer deaths. Divided into 2 primary types, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC), NSCLC comprises nearly 84% of lung cancer, while SCLC constitutes about 13% of lung cancers in the U.S. each year. Although SCLC is less common, it is more aggressive and metastasizes rapidly to organs such as the liver, bones, adrenal glands, the lymph nodes, and the brain. Smoking tobacco is the leading cause for lung cancer, accounting for 90% of all SCLC diagnoses. Current treatments include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, and surgery. With estimated new lung cancer cases of 235,760 and estimated deaths of 131,880 in 2021, it is imperative to find new ways to overcome treatment barriers in patients with lung cancer.

In early 2021, ACCC began facilitating patient- and provider-facing surveys that focus on creating awareness about the SCLC patient experience. These surveys, used to identify and better comprehend the gaps and potential disconnects in the patient/provider relationship in the treatment of SCLC, highlight opportunities to improve patient care. ACCC's Comprehensive Quality Care for Patients with Small Cell Lung Cancer initiative builds upon those survey findings to help dispel misconceptions and myths about SCLC and its treatment, promoting the use of guideline-concordant treatment plans, and identifying and uncovering the gaps, barriers, and challenges to deliver optimal care to patients with SCLC.

This multi-phased initiative's key learning objectives include:

  • Reinforcing the importance of early testing, diagnosis, and treatment for patients with SCLC.
  • Showcasing programs with successful community outreach campaigns to encourage patients to safely seek care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Highlighting new standards of clinical care for patients with SCLC.
  • Promoting integration of new treatment options into providers’ workflow.
  • Demonstrating the importance of multidisciplinary care coordination in treating patients with SCLC.
  • Creating an SCLC Resource Library to promote accurate communication about diagnosis, treatment, and prevention for patients and cancer care team members.
  • Reinforcing and highlighting the importance of comprehensive cancer care services currently lacking for this underserved population.
  • Providing models for implementing comprehensive cancer care services that can be used to better support patients with SCLC by ACCC’s membership.

For more information on this project, please contact the ACCC Provider Education department.



ACCC examined best practices in the treatment of small cell lung cancer. The following cancer programs highlight best practices in specific areas of cancer care.

Landscape Analysis

ACCC engaged in a multi-phased educational initiative to address the challenges and burdens faced by patients with small cell lung cancer in community oncology programs and practices. Read on to learn more about barriers and best practices in treating patients with small cell lung cancer.

Resource Library

With the assistance of its Advisory Committee and Partner Organization, ACCC has developed a curated resource library that incorporates publications, webinars, tools, and other resources for small cell lung cancer treatment.
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Funding & support provided by AstraZeneca and G1 Therapeutics.