Cancers of the lung, colon-rectum, and breast are the common types of malignancy in the United States. At present, patients with these diseases must look to the surgeon or radiotherapist for cure. The available cancer drugs may afford relief from pain and temporary lessening of symptoms. However, they are not usually given until the conventional methods have failed, and have only rarely produced permanent control of such cancers.

New methods of drug treatment, based on recent information about the growth rates of solid tumors in animals and man, offer better prospects for chemical control. The new techniques include administration of drugs in combination and in "pulses" timed to kill cancer cells more rapidly than they multiply and to allow recovery of normal cells from drug damage.

Cancers Poorly Responsive To Drug Treatment

DISEASE

BENEFICIAL DRUGS

lung cancer

cyclophosphamide nitrogen mustard dactinomycin 5-fluorouracil hydroxyurea

colon-rectum cancer

5-fluorouracil thioTEPA phenylalanine mustard mitomycin C methotrexate triethylene melamine (TEM)

breast cancer -

androgens estrogens cortisone cyclophosphamide nitrogen mustard thioTEPA TEM

5-fluorouracil methotrexate chlorambucil prednisolone

stomach cancer

nitrogen mustard 5-fluorouracil thioTEPA mitomycin c

prostatic cancer

estrogens

lymphoma

nitrogen mustard chlorambucil cyclophosphamide thioTEPA

TEM adrenal cortical compounds vinblastine vincristine methotrexate

cancer of the urinary tract

5-fluorouracil thioTEPA

cancer if the uterus

female synthetic hormones

Only small gains have been made in treating these major forms of cancer with drugs. However, new information about the growth rates of solid tumors in animals and man offers better prospects for improved drug treatment.