Chemotherapy with atezolizumab for small cell or neuroendocrine carcinoma of the prostate: A single institution experience

Christopher E. Wee, Brian A. Costello, Jacob J. Orme, J. Fernando Quevedo, Lance C. Pagliaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Chemotherapy in combination with immunotherapy has a proven survival benefit compared to chemotherapy alone in extensive stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and is the new standard of care. Since extrapulmonary small cell carcinomas (SCCs) are less common, treatment paradigms are reasonably extrapolated from SCLC regimens. We examined our institution's experience utilizing the combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy (as used in SCLC) for SCC and neuroendocrine carcinoma of the prostate. Methods: Utilizing an institutional database search tool, we queried the electronic medical record to identify patients with SCC or neuroendocrine carcinoma of the prostate who had been treated with atezolizumab and chemotherapy. We recorded patient characteristics, including age, pathology, and disease extent. Treatment characteristics included number of prior treatments, use of concominant androgen deprivation, number of cycles of immunotherapy, and prior systemic therapies (including those for adenocarcinoma of the prostate). Progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were the primary outcomes. Results: We identified seven men who received atezolizumab for metastatic prostate cancer with a small cell or neuroendocrine component. In six of the seven patients, the combination of carboplatin, etoposide, and atezolizumab was the first-line of treatment after diagnosis of small cell or neuroendocrine carcinoma. Two of the seven patients had de novo small cell/neuroendocrine pathology, while the other five had transformation from a preexisting adenocarcinoma. In the patients who received chemotherapy plus immunotherapy in the first-line setting, at a median follow-up of 6.5 months (range: 1.5–15.1) the median PFS was 3.4 months and median OS was 8.4 months. Conclusion: Small cell or neuroendocrine carcinoma of the prostate was associated with poor survival outcomes despite adding immunotherapy (atezolizumab) to chemotherapy (carboplatin and etoposide). To our knowledge, there has been no demonstrable benefit of adding immunotherapy to chemotherapy in this setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)938-943
Number of pages6
Issue number13
StatePublished - Sep 15 2021


  • atezolizumab
  • neuroendocrine
  • prostate cancer
  • small cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


Dive into the research topics of 'Chemotherapy with atezolizumab for small cell or neuroendocrine carcinoma of the prostate: A single institution experience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this