: Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an aggressive malignancy that exhibits a rapid doubling time, a high growth fraction, and the early development of widespread metastases. The addition of immune checkpoint inhibitors to first-line chemotherapy represents the first significant improvement of systemic therapy in several decades. However, in contrast to its effects on non-SCLC, the advantageous effects of immunotherapy addition are modest in SCLC. In particular, only a small number of SCLC patients benefit from immune checkpoint inhibitors. Additionally, biomarkers selection is lacking for SCLC, with clinical trials largely focusing on unselected populations. Here, we review the data concerning the major biomarkers for immunotherapy, namely, programmed death ligand 1 expression and tumour mutational burden. Furthermore, we explore other potential biomarkers, including the role of the immune microenvironment in SCLC, the role of genetic alterations, and the potential links between neurological paraneoplastic syndromes, serum anti-neuronal nuclear antibodies, and outcomes in SCLC patients treated with immunotherapy.
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