Radionuclide Scanning and Lung Cancer

George H. Goldsmith, MD
JAMA. 1980;244(1):28-29. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310010018011.
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To the Editor.—  The findings of Kelley et al (242:2855, 1979) are of interest in that they indicate the prevalence of metastatic disease, as defined by conventional radionuclide scanning procedures, at the time of diagnosis of lung cancer in asymptomatic patients. However, their data do not support the contention that information critical for therapeutic decisions is derived from routine radionuclide scanning of such patients.Except for a small subset of patients who are entered into prospective therapeutic trials designed to test the efficacy of either adjuvant therapy or early systemic therapy for asymptomatic metastases, patients with lung cancer fall into two major therapeutic categories: (1) patients with small cell carcinoma, who, whatever the extent of disease, require systemic chemotherapy for any hope of long-term remission,1 and (2) those patients with non-oat-cell carcinoma, for whom, at the present time, the only critical treatment decision is whether or not to resect


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