In a controlled, randomized study, survival of patients with small cell carcinoma of the lung (SCCL) was prolonged on addition of warfarin sodium to combination chemotherapy plus radiation therapy. Median survival for 25 control patients was 24 weeks and for 25 warfarin-treated patients was 50 weeks. This difference could not be accounted for by differences between groups in performance status, extent of disease, age, or sex. The survival advantage associated with warfarin administration was observed both for patients with extensive disease and for those who failed to achieve complete or partial remission. The warfarin-treated group also demonstrated a significantly increased time to first evidence of disease progression. These results suggest that warfarin may be useful in the treatment of SCCL and also support the hypothesis that the blood coagulation mechanism may be involved in the growth and spread of cancer in man.
Leo R. Zacharski, William G. Henderson, Frederick R. Rickles, Walter B. Forman, C. J. Cornell, R. Jackson Forcier, Richard Edwards, Elwood Headley, Sang-Hee Kim, Joseph R. O'Donnell, Robert O'Dell, Karl Tornyos, Hau C. Kwaan. Effect of Warfarin on Survival in Small Cell Carcinoma of the LungVeterans Administration Study No. 75. JAMA. 1981;245(8):831–835. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310330021017