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August 6, 1982

Pretreatment Peripheral Blood Counts in Small-Cell Carcinoma of the Lung

JAMA. 1982;248(5):550. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330050034022

To the Editor.—  Bruckner et al have reported recently (1982;247:1004) that pretreatment peripheral blood counts significantly influence survival in patients with metastatic gastric cancer treated with chemotherapy. Similarly, the negative influence of an elevated WBC count (>12,000/cu mm) on the course of patients with metastatic colon cancer has been noted.1In an effort to determine if peripheral blood counts will assist in evaluating prognosis in small-cell carcinoma of the lung (SCCL), a solid tumor treated principally with chemotherapy, the records of 93 patients with SCCL treated at The Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, Baltimore, from September 1977 to March 1981 were evaluated. The criteria used by the Gastrointestinal Tumor Study Group (GITSG) in separating patients into good (granulocytes, <6,000/cu mm; lymphocytes, >1500/cu mm; monocytes, 300 to 900/cu mm) and poor (granulocytes, >6000/cu mm; lymphocytes, <1,500/cu mm; monocytes, <300 or >900/cu mm) prognostic groups were utilized. All peripheral blood counts were