June 1960

Chemotherapy of Cancer

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery, Milwaukee County Hospital and Marquette University School of Medicine.; Assistant Director of Surgery, Milwaukee County Hospital; Assistant Professor of Surgery, Marquette University School of Medicine; Trainee, National Cancer Institute (Dr. Hurley). Resident in Surgery, Milwaukee County Hospital; Assistant Instructor in Surgery, Marquette University School of Medicine (Dr. Hall).

AMA Arch Surg. 1960;80(6):928-933. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01290230046006

In spite of recent attempts at increasing the salvage rate of patients with cancer by more aggressive and more radical surgery and more intensive and more radical irradiation therapy, the over-all end-results as reported in collected series from large centers shows a five-year survival rate seldom exceeding 30%.1-2 There are thus a great number of patients for whom surgery and radiation therapy are not permanently helpful. It is important to note, therefore, that the chemical attack made on cancer in recent years has produced some encouraging results in terms of palliation and even prolongation of life.3-11

This report is concerned with a variety of chemotherapeutic agents, excluding the hormone and antibiotic drugs. The judicious use of these compounds may have considerable effect and benefit.

The chemical agents useful in the treatment of patients with cancer are not curative and they do not control the disease indefinitely. In exerting

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