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April 19, 1976

Superior Vena Caval Obstruction Due to Small-Cell Anaplastic Lung Carcinoma: Response to Chemotherapy

Author Affiliations

From the NCI-VA Medical Oncology Section, Veterans Administration Hospital, Washington, DC.

JAMA. 1976;235(16):1717-1718. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260420033024

Among 38 patients with bronchogenic carcinoma, small-cell type, eight patients had superior vena caval obstruction (SVCO) of recent onset. Seven of these patients were initially treated with combination chemotherapy (lomustine, cyclophosphamide, and methotrexate). One patient who had SVCO was treated initially by radiotherapy, with subsequent chemotherapy. In each patient, resolution of the syndrome was prompt, usually was complete by seven days, and was accompanied by objective tumor shrinkage. Symptoms of SVCO were transiently aggravated by the initiation of treatment in only one patient. In one individual treated by chemotherapy alone and in one treated by chemotherapy plus radiotherapy, SVCO recurred after initial control. Chemotherapy is an effective form of management of SVCO caused by small-cell carcinoma of the lung.

(JAMA 235:1717-1718, 1976)