George G. Spellman Jr, MD
To the Editors: Although Dr. Ihde (1) awaits the end of the beginning in efforts to treat unresectable lung cancer, many clinicians and patients await the beginning of the beginning. Medical research has provided little information on the "no treatment" alternative for patients who are deciding whether to have traditional thoracic radiation, making informed consent difficult.
A retrospective chart review of 16 patients with unresectable carcinoma of the lung, who died in the past 4 years after having declined cancer therapy, revealed 1-, 2-, and 5-year survival rates of 50%, 31%, and 13%, respectively. These data support Johnson and colleagues'
Spellman GG. Does Radiation Increase Survival in Nonresectable Lung Cancer?. Ann Intern Med. 1992;116:524–525. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-116-6-524_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1992;116(6):524-525.
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