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May 11, 1984

Combined Modality Approaches to Cancer Therapy

Author Affiliations

From the Council on Scientific Affairs, Division of Scientific Activities, American Medical Association, Chicago.

JAMA. 1984;251(18):2398-2407. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340420064029

SURGERY, radiation, and chemotherapy have all been individually demonstrated to be effective anticancer treatments under various circumstances, but surgery and radiation therapy remain the major treatment methods for the local control of most solid neoplasms. Because local treatment failure is still a too frequent result of these regional approaches used individually, the combination of these two local therapies is being evaluated and exploited by oncologists.

Subsequent treatment failure from late micrometastases, clinically undetected at the time of initial local treatment, is a frequent phenomenon with many human cancers. The addition of adjuvant chemotherapy at the time of initial local regional treatment has been shown to be effective in managing several pediatric cancers and some adult neoplasms as well. Other potentially beneficial additions to combined therapies include hormonal therapy, biologic response modifiers, hyperthermia, monoclonal antibodies, and interferon. Early results in many of these areas have lent additional encouragement to the concept