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January 16, 1967

Fluorouracil Treatment Of Breast Cancer

JAMA. 1967;199(3):222. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120030126034

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To the Editor:—  Samp and Ansfield's communication, "Breast Cancer treated With Fluorouracil" (198:724, 1966), does not prove that fluorouracil in the inoperable stages of mammary carcinoma prolongs the survival of these patients. We accept their observations but must question their interpretation because the analysis presented contains many deficiencies. The two series were not run concurrently. The control series was studied retrospectively, and one wonders if patients were not more enthusiastically treated after fluorouracil was introduced. This is consistent with the poor survival of 13.5 months in the control series, a figure considerably less than what is usually reported in a rather voluminous literature not mentioned in this article. The two series showed some disparity in that the control group had a shorter free period, indicating a less aggressive form of malignancy in the treated group. The analysis does not clearly indicate when in the course of the recurrent disease