Serial fiberoptic bronchoscopic examinations were performed during intensive chemotherapy with a combination of drugs in 77 previously untreated patients with small cell carcinoma of the lung. Before treatment, bronchoscopic examination revealed evidence of cancer in 93% (70) of the 75 patients studied at that time, including 8% (six) in whom the tumor was not evaluable on the chest x-ray film. After therapy was initiated, 36% (29) of the 81 procedures performed in patients with a complete response radiographically and 62% (33) of the 53 bronchoscopic procedures in those with a partial response or no response showed evidence of tumor. In both of these groups, patients with abnormal findings on endoscopic examination had a much higher rate of relapsing tumor of the chest within a 12-week period. Progression of intrathoracic tumor was first detected solely by bronchoscopic examination in 22% (seven) of the 32 episodes of progression. In our hands, repeated fiberoptic bronchoscopic procedures during chemotherapy for small cell carcinoma have yielded information not apparent from the chest x-ray film in a significant number of patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine