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Ann Intern Med. 1978 Apr;88(4):522-31.

Small-cell carcinoma of the lung: therapeutic management.


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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