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June 9, 1962

Surgery and Supervoltage Therapy in Treatment of Carcinoma of Lung-Reply

JAMA. 1962;180(10):900. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050230102022

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To the Editor:—  In Dr. William L. Caldwell's letter he asks why we feel that "when it can be applied, surgery is the best treatment currently available for bronchogenic carcinoma." The reason for this is that in our experience and in the recorded experience of others surgery has resulted in a 5-year-cure rate of from 25% to 35% of resected cases who survive. I do not believe that there is any other method of therapy available that has approached these figures.We, too, were deeply disappointed in the results of radiation therapy and were slow and reluctant to condemn it. Our declining enthusiasm for this mode of therapy is based on this series of patients and as indicated in the text of the article arises from 2 separate considerations. The first of these is that many patients proceeded to die of dissemination of bronchogenic carcinoma while under therapy, although in

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