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