Researchers from Japan say that the combination of chemotherapy with a new medication could improve survival among lung cancer patients.
In the study of close to 1,000 patients, the overall survival rate was significantly higher in patients who received chemotherapy and the oral drug uracil-tegafur. Results of the study show 65 patients who received the combined therapy died within five years compared to 89 patients who received no therapy.
Researchers also found a recurrence or second primary cancer in 23 percent of the treatment group and 26 percent of the non-treatment group. Of the 482 patients who received treatment, only 10 patients experienced toxicity problems. Treatment was stopped if patients experienced a grade 3 level of toxicity.
However specialists say that though the study provides compelling evidence that uracil-tegafur can improve survival for stage I lung cancer patients , the drug has still not been approved in the United States, Thus limiting its use only to trials.