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July 5, 1965

Cell Type and the Natural History of Lung Cancer

Author Affiliations

From Veterans Administration hospitals of Long Beach, Calif (Dr. Hyde), Martinez, Calif (Dr. Yee), and Dallas (Dr. Wilson); and the School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Mich (Dr. Patno).

JAMA. 1965;193(1):52-54. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090010058016

Bronchogenic carcinoma is a deadly disease with steadily increasing incidence especially in men,1,2 and high early mortality rates reported for treated and untreated patients, even for those with supposedly small, asymptomatic lesions. From 70% to 88% of consecutive, unselected bronchogenic carcinoma patients, when first seen in general hospitals, are found to have nonresectable lesions, about 12% to 15% of these after thoracotomy. Periodic x-ray screening has revealed that survival after the last negative x-ray finding was so poor as to suggest that metastases in many cases have occurred before a pulmonary mass is detectable by present methods.3

Multiple forms of therapy have been reported in the past, usually in small groups of patients and without adequate controls. Case reports of single or small numbers of patients who have survived for periods of time beyond the expected have often led to the erroneous conclusion that the therapy used in

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