Two groups have been selected from 1000 patients who had lobectomy or pneumonectomy for bronchial carcinoma. The first group was of 26 patients with tumour affecting the mucosa of the resected bronchial margin reported histologically at the time of surgery. Twelve of these were given postoperative radiotherapy but with no apparent benefit, either in the incidence of recurrence of tumour at the bronchial stump or in five-year survival. The second group was of 17 patients who developed recurrence of tumour at the bronchial stump, bronchoscopically confirmed, some time after surgery. In six of these cases the recurrence was detected while it was confined to the bronchial stump region, and these patients were then given radiotherapy. Five of the six survived five years after radiotherapy, with complete eradication of the tumour recurrence confirmed by repeat bronchoscopy. In 11 cases the tumour recurrence was not detected until it had become more extensive. Radiotherapy may also have prolonged survival in some of these patients, although none survived five years.
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