Carcinoma, Small Cell

An anaplastic, highly malignant, and usually bronchogenic carcinoma composed of small ovoid cells with scanty neoplasm. It is characterized by a dominant, deeply basophilic nucleus, and absent or indistinct nucleoli. There are admixtures of small cell lung carcinoma with other types of lung cancer. Small cell carcinomas are distinguished by their distinctive biological features, response to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and by their nearly universal tendency to develop overt or subclinical metastases, which frequently eliminates surgery in most patients. (From Stedman, 25th ed; Holland et al., Cancer Medicine, 3d ed, p1286-7).