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July 22, 1983

Some benefit of concurrent chemo-radiotherapy in cancer

JAMA. 1983;250(4):457-458. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340040009005

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Simultaneous radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be useful in the treatment of both limited small-cell lung cancer and advanced Hodgkin's disease, according to reports presented at the recent meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in San Diego.

This adds to the evidence already gathered on the efficacy of this combination therapy in other types of cancer, such as breast cancer (JAMA [MEDICAL NEWS] 1982;248:1799-1801). Although such combined use of drugs and radiation therapy (RT) sometimes results in an increase in adverse effects in patients, the benefits of these new, more intensive regimens may outweigh the dangers in some patients.

A multicenter randomized trial conducted by the Southeastern Cancer Study Group, Birmingham, Ala, has shown that administering thoracic radiation therapy simultaneously with chemotherapy can improve results in the treatment with limited small-cell carcinoma of the lung.

A total of 304 patients were divided into two groups, matched by age and