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July 18, 1980

Long-term Survival in Small Cell Carcinoma of the Lung

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Chemotherapy R II-R V, Finsen Institute, and the Department of Internal Medicine CT, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen.

JAMA. 1980;244(3):247-250. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310030023018

From June 1973 to August 1977, three hundred thirty-seven patients with small cell carcinoma of the lung were included in randomized therapeutic trials. By February 1979, fifty-one patients (15%) had survived for 18 months, including 29 (9%) in clinical complete remission. Of the latter patients, readmitted for restaging, including bone marrow examination, peritoneoscopy, and bronchomediastinoscopy, residual tumor was found in four. Treatment was discontinued in the remaining patients; six subsequently had relapses, while three patients died, free of disease, of other causes. Sixteen patients are still alive and free of disease more than 19 to 50 months after the primary diagnosis; seven were treated with combination chemotherapy alone, including four who initially had distant metastatic disease. The remaining nine patients had regional disease and were treated with both chemotherapy and radiotherapy, including prophylactic brain irradiation in four patients. Long-term survival can be achieved in a small number of patients in all stages of small cell carcinoma with intensive combination chemotherapy.

(JAMA 244:247-250, 1980)