Intensive induction therapy for small cell carcinoma of the lung

M. D. Abeloff, D. S. Ettinger, N. F. Khouri, R. E. Lenhard

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44 Scopus citations


Fifteen patients with extensive small cell carcinoma of the lung and no prior therapy were treated with a chemotherapeutic regimen similar in intensity to the approach used in acute myelocytic leukemia. The patients received intensive induction therapy with cyclophosphamide, adriamycin, and VP-16-213 followed by treatment with a combination of BCNU, vincristine, methotrexate, and procarbazine. The objective response rate was 87% (13 of 15 patients) with three complete responses and ten partial responses. With the exception of one patient, the maximal response to therapy was achieved during therapy with the intensive cyclophosphamide, adriamycin, and VP-16-213 regimen. The three complete responders remain in remission for 159, 351, and 285 days but seven of the ten partial responders have relapsed and five of these have died. There was no unexpected morbidity associated with the intensive chemotherapy despite marked bone marrow suppression. This study demonstrates that very intensive combination chemotherapy can be safely used to achieve a high objective response rate in patients with extensive small cell carcinoma, but the complete response rate is low. An analysis of treatment failures and future directions is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-524
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Treatment Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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