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Postoperative intrapleural BCG in lung cancer: lack of efficacy and possible enhancement of tumour growth.
  1. W Bakker,
  2. J M Nijhuis-Heddes,
  3. A M Wever,
  4. A Brutel de la Rivière,
  5. E A van der Velde,
  6. J H Dijkman


    Fifty-six patients out of a group of 99 with lung cancer received postoperative intrapleural BCG (Pasteur strain) in three different dosages (16 X 10(6) culturable particles (cp), 32 X 10(6) cp, and 64 X 10(6) cp). When comparing the whole group of 99 patients with a historical control group of 126 patients no statistically significant differences were found in survival and disease-free interval. The two groups were well matched in respect of age, sex, histology, stage of disease, and type of operation. Patients with epidermoid carcinoma stage I receiving BCG, however, did significantly worse than those who had not received BCG in terms of disease-free interval. This unfavourable trend was caused by earlier local recurrences rather than metastases. The possible phenomenon of enhanced tumour growth noted in or patients with epidermoid carcinoma stage I might be related to the dosages used in this study, but the different BCG strain used hinders comparison with other studies. We conclude that BCG has no beneficial effect on survival or on disease-free interval; possible enhancement of tumour growth in stage I epidermoid carcinoma was found.

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