Fifty-six patients with untreated small cell carcinoma of the bronchus were treated with three courses of chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and procarbazine and methotrexate) and assessed for response. Thirty-one patients (55.4%) were classified as responders; they were given a course of radiotherapy and were then randomly allocated to continued cyclical chemotherapy or not further chemotherapy until relapse. Non-responders to chemotherapy were treated with radiotherapy or palliatively. The median survival was 10.5 months in responders and 6 months in non-responders (P less than 0.01). The one-year survival in responders was 42%. There was no statistical difference in survival between patients treated with continued chemotherapy and those treated at relapse. Sixty-nine per cent of patients experienced no side effects from chemotherapy. Three indicators of non-response to chemotherapy were identified--exercise tolerance at diagnosis, macroscopic liver metastases, and inappropriate ADH secretion.
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