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June 9, 1962

Surgery and Supervoltage Therapy in Treatment of Carcinoma of Lung

Author Affiliations

A.P.O. 851, New York City

JAMA. 1962;180(10):900. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050230102021

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To the Editor:—  The "convictions" of David P. Boyd, M.D., et al. in their abstract of the article (JAMA179:253 [Jan. 27] 1962), "Surgery and Supervoltage Therapy in the Treatment of Carcinoma of the Lung," are of keen interest to me. On the basis of their material, how can they honestly state (as so many others have in the past) that: "When surgery can be applied, it is the best treatment currently available for bronchogenic carcinoma"? This is stated in a different, but no less subtle, way in the opening sentence: "Our experience shows that of 628 patients with carcinoma of the lung, only 340 or 54% were submitted to operation and thereby given a chance for cure."It is from such parenthetical remarks that medical maxims are born. Obviously, selection has always been in favor of surgery. In this series the 152 patients ( with only 2 exceptions ) treated

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