The presence of cancer cells in the blood of patients with malignant tumors has been reported repeatedly.6,15 Lung carcinoma produces distant metastases early in its course in a high percentage of patients. In spite of this and the frequent vascular invasion by lung cancer9 the reported incidence of cancer cells in the blood with carcinoma of the lungs is surprisingly small.14
It has been suggested that adjuvant chemotherapy may be of value in minimizing the dissemination of cancer cells especially at time of surgery. Mechlorethamine hydrochloride (a nitrogen mustard, HN2)6 and thio-tepa15 have been found to be of some value, but the complications with lung cancer have been quite frequent and severe.
In experimental animals it was shown that with the administration of mechlorethamine hydrochloride the inoculated cancer cells disappeared from the circulation soon after the injection of the mustard; even so a relatively
FARPOUR A, AGOSTINO D, CLIFFTON EE. Transplantable Lung Cancer in Rats: Effect of Treatment. Arch Surg. 1964;89(6):942–948. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01320060010003
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