Present Status of Surgical Adjuvant Lung-Cancer Chemotherapy

Felix A. Hughes Jr., MD; George Higgins, MD; Gilbert W. Beebe, MD
JAMA. 1966;196(4):343-344. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100170085027.
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The concept, methods, materials, and present findings of the Veteran's Administration Surgical Adjuvant Lung-Cancer Chemotherapy Study Group are summarized. There is no indication that mechlorethamine (Mustargen) hydrochloride as used by the group has a beneficial effect on survival. The effect of cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) therapy has been observed only briefly. Curative pulmonary resection offers hope of cure to 30% of patients surviving operation.

Surgical resection of cancer apparently limited to the lung has long offered the main chance of cure, but this has been true for only about 30% of carefully selected cases. Experimental evidence that small tumor implants could be prevented by chemotherapy created hope of a beneficial effect in patients.17

The Cancer Chemotherapy National Service Center of the National Cancer Institute18 in 1957 started a program of research to develop and screen tumoricidal compounds for use on patients. Mechlorethamine was being used clinically and was selected by


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