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Diagnosis and Treatment |

Small-Cell Carcinoma of the Lung: Therapeutic Management

RAYMOND B. WEISS, M.D., F.A.C.P.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: in part by Grants CA 07757 and CA 19530-1 from the National Cancer Institute, U.S. Public Health Service.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Raymond B. Weiss, M.D.; Department of Medicine, West Virginia University Hospital; Morgantown, WV 26505.


Morgantown, West Virginia


© 1978 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1978;88(4):522-531. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-88-4-522
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Although bronchogenic carcinoma generally remains a tumor resistant to treatment, marked progress in the therapy of the small-cell undifferentiated subtype has occurred in the past 5 years. Many aspects of its growth and metastatic spread are such that it is not satisfactorily treated surgically. However, it is sensitive to both radiation and a variety of chemotherapeutic agents. Use of these agents in combination seems to produce a greater antitumor effect than single drugs. The combination of radiation and chemotherapy results in marked tumor regressions. Untreated, this carcinoma has a very short median survival (2 months). Administration of current "aggressive" combination therapy regimens has resulted in median survivals of nearly 1 year with some patients still living 3 years after therapy.

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