From February 1985 to June 1993, 173 consecutive, previously untreated patients with small cell lung cancer received individualized treatment tailored to disease extent. Almost all patients (14 of 16) with stage I and II disease and 30 patients with operable stage III disease were submitted to surgery preceded or followed by chemotherapy. Chest irradiation and prophylactic brain radiotherapy (in complete responders) were administered at the end of treatment in 42 of 44 uses. Patients with inoperable limited disease received chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy in 67 of 71 cases, while chemotherapy alone or followed by radiotherapy in sites of either initially bulky or residual disease was administered to 58 patients with extensive disease. The overall response rate was 77% (complete response, 45%; partial response, 32%). Complete responses were documented more frequently in limited disease than in extensive disease (57% v 22%; P <.001). The 2- and 5-year freedom from progression rates (24% and 16%, respectively), as well as overall survival rates (31% and 16%, respectively) were significantly affected by disease extent. No patient with extensive disease was progression free and alive at 2 years, while more than half of stage I and II patients were disease free and alive at 5 years. This retrospective analysis performed on a large number of consecutive, nonrandomized patients suggests that, at least in patients with limited disease, it is possible to achieve favorable long-term results using treatment tailored to disease extent. Nonetheless, the disappointing results commonly achieved in the treatment of small cell lung cancer strongly support the need for either prospective, randomized studies to confirm recently reported improved results or new pilot studies with investigation of entirely innovative approaches.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Seminars in Oncology|
|Issue number||1 SUPPL. 2|
|Publication status||Published - 1995|
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