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JAMA. 1941;117(21):1778-1782. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820470026007.
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Radiation therapy for primary carcinoma of the lung has not been effective as a curative agent. However, its usefulness in palliation and in prolonging life should not be overlooked. Even in these spheres the value of radiation therapy has been challenged. Overholt1 of the Lahey Clinic believes that radiotherapy shortens the life of patients with cancer of the lung; Portmann2 of the Cleveland Clinic states that radiotherapy may result in symptomatic relief but not in prolongation of life, while Craver3 of the Memorial Hospital, on the basis of 178 cases, reports that radiation therapy gives symptomatic relief and prolongs life.

The present report based on an analysis of 192 treated and untreated primary carcinomas of the lung which had been examined post mortem at Montefiore Hospital from 1921 to 1939, demonstrates the value of radiation therapy in prolonging life. It was felt that autopsy material permitted a


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