Forty patients who underwent curative resection for oat cell carcinoma of the bronchus between 1959 and 1974 are reviewed. During the same period there were 24 patients who underwent thoracotomy but who were found to have inoperable lesions. Of the 40 patients who underwent curative resection, 11 patients remain alive and well with no evidence of recurrence. Ten of these patients have survived five years or more, an overall five-year survival rate of 25%. We consider that surgery should be considered as a possible first line of treatment in patients with small cell carcinoma of the bronchus.
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