The chemotherapy of the leukemias and lymphomas has evolved rapidly in the past decade. More patients are achieving remission of their disease, these remissions are lasting significantly longer, and survival of afflicted patients is improving. The most gratifying aspect of this improvement is that a significant proportion of patients are remaining continuously free of their disease for longer periods after treatment is stopped. These results have been achieved through the use of more intensive treatment programs which employ several drugs in combination, or extensive x-irradiation, or sometimes a combination of both. These forms of treatment are often complicated and costly, both economically and in terms of toxic effect on the patient. Although few would argue about the worth of such therapy if the end result were a disease-free, functional patient, the question of who should use them is a favorite one for discussion among physicians. This point is highlighted in
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