BRUCE E. JOHNSON, M.D.; DANIEL C. IHDE, M.D.; PAUL A. BUNN, M.D.; BRUCE BECKER, Ph.D.; THOMAS WALSH, M.D.; ZELIG R. WEINSTEIN, M.D.; MARY J. MATTHEWS, M.D.; JACQUELINE WHANG-PENG, M.D.; ROBERT W. MAKUCH, Ph.D.; ANITA JOHNSTON-EARLY, R.N.; ALLEN S. LICHTER, M.D.; DESMOND N. CARNEY, M.D.; MARTIN H. COHEN, M.D.; ELI GLATSTEIN, M.D.; JOHN D. MINNA, M.D.
We assessed the outcome in 252 patients with small-cell lung cancer 5 to 11 years after treatment with combination chemotherapy, with or without chest and cranial irradiation, in National Cancer Institute therapeutic trials from 1973 through 1978. Twenty-eight patients (11%) survived free of cancer for 30 months or more. Fourteen patients remain alive without evidence of cancer beyond 5 years (range, 6.4 to 11.3 years), and 7 patients have returned to a lifestyle similar to that before diagnosis. The other 14 patients who were cancer-free at 30 months have developed cancer or died; 6 patients had a relapse, 4 developed or died from non-small-cell lung cancer, and 4 died of unrelated causes. A few patients with small-cell lung cancer (5.6%) may be cured. Thirty-month, cancer-free survival is insufficient to show a cure. Although late toxicities are troublesome, they do not outweigh the benefits of prolonged survival and potential for cure with modern aggressive therapy in small-cell lung cancer.
JOHNSON BE, IHDE DC, BUNN PA, et al. Patients with Small-Cell Lung Cancer Treated with Combination Chemotherapy with or without Irradiation: Data on Potential Cures, Chronic Toxicities, and Late Relapses After a Five- to Eleven-Year Follow-up. Ann Intern Med. 1985;103:430–438. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-103-3-430
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1985;103(3):430-438.
Hematology/Oncology, Lung Cancer, Pulmonary/Critical Care.
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