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Eur J Cancer Clin Oncol. 1989 Apr;25(4):733-6.

Enhanced pulmonary toxicity in smokers with germ-cell cancer treated with cis-platinum, vinblastine and bleomycin: a long-term follow-up.

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  • 1Department of Oncology ONB, Finsen Institute, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.


The long-term effects of bleomycin on pulmonary function were studied. Thirty-four patients with germ-cell cancer were followed for an average of 64 months (range 43-98 months). All had obtained complete remission during treatment and none had relapsed at the follow-up examination. Pulmonary function was tested by measurements of total lung capacity (TLC), vital capacity (VC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and single breath diffusion capacity for carbon monoxide (TLCO). TLC and VC were significantly reduced by the treatment (P less than 0.05), but normalized during the follow-up. TLCO was initially reduced to a predicted median of 83%. In the smokers the initial TLCO was at a predicted median of 79%, while in non-smokers a median of 88% was predicted. During the first 2 months of treatment, TLCO increased both in smokers and non-smokers to predicted medians of 90% and 91%. Subsequently, however, a significant decrease to 72% was noted in the smokers, while the non-smokers had only an insignificant decrease to 84%. The decrease in TLCO was irreversible but not progressive. We conclude that bleomycin treatment is associated with a long-term sustained reduction in TLCO. The changes were most pronounced in the smokers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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