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Ann Intern Med. 1978 Feb;88(2):194-9.

Small-cell carcinoma of the lung: combined chemotherapy and radiation: a Southwest Oncology Group study.


Chemotherapy (doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, and vincristine) was given in a sequential fashion with radiation of the primary tumor and brain to 358 patients with small-cell lung carcinoma (extensive disease in 250, limited in 108). Complete regression of tumor was obtained in 14% of patients with extensive disease and 41% of patients with limited disease, and complete or partial response in 57% and 75%, respectively. Median survival was 26 weeks for patients with extensive disease and 52 weeks for those with limited disease. Response duration was longer for patients in complete remission; one third had disease-free survival greater than 1 year. Toxicity from the combined treatment modalities was no greater than expected from the components given separately: fatal in 3.9%, and life-threatening but reversible in 8.4% of patients. Whole-brain radiation was effective in preventing isolated relapse at that site. This therapy appears both feasible and effective, with acceptable risks and some benefit to most patients.

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