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Chest. 1994 Dec;106(6 Suppl):320S-323S.

A prospective randomized trial to determine the benefit of surgical resection of residual disease following response of small cell lung cancer to combination chemotherapy.


Three hundred twenty-eight patients with limited stage small cell lung cancer were enrolled in a trial to evaluate surgical treatment for such patients responding to chemotherapy. Cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and vincristine were administered every 21 days for five cycles. Patients achieving at least partial response who had confirmation of pure small cell histologic features by pathology review and who were fit enough for thoracotomy were randomized to undergo or not to undergo pulmonary resection. All randomized patients received radiotherapy to the chest and brain. Two hundred seventeen (66%) of the patients achieved objective response (90 complete response; 127 partial response). One hundred forty-six patients were randomized (66% of responders, 44% of all patients): 70 to surgery and 76 to no surgery. Results of surgery were 83% resection rate, 19% pathologic complete remission rate, and 9% with residual non-small cell histologic features only, for a total of 28% eradication of small cell lung cancer. The survival curves for the two arms are not different (log rank p = 0.78). Median survivals were 12 months for all enrolled patients and 16 months for those who were randomized. Actuarial 2-year survival is 20%. The results of this trial do not support the addition of pulmonary resection to the multimodality treatment of small cell lung cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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