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Thirty-six cancer patients with symptomatic tracheobronchial stenoses received Gianturco tracheobronchial stents over a 9-year period. Symptoms improved in 28 patients (78%). The overall median survival was 1 month 3 weeks (range, 4 days to 35 months). The median survival for patients who showed improvement after receiving stents was 3 months compared with 1 week for those who did not respond. Complications were minimal. The Gianturco stent may palliate symptoms of tracheobronchial compression in selected cancer patients.
Determinants of 5-year survival were evaluated after complete resection of pulmonary metastases from adult soft-tissue sarcomas. Fifty-eight patients had complete resection (median survival 25 months, P = 0.0002), with a 25.8% absolute 5-year survival (15 of 58 patients); six patients had unresectable disease (median survival 6 months) and were excluded from additional analysis. Eleven patients remain disease free, with a median follow-up of 76 months. Significant independent prognostic indicators associated with improved survival (P less than 0.05) included metastasis doubling time of 40 days or greater (median survival 37 months versus 15 months if less than 40 days); unilateral disease on preoperative radiography (33 months versus 15 months if bilateral disease); three or fewer nodules on preoperative computed tomography (40 months versus 14 months if 4 or more nodules); two nodules or fewer resected (40 months versus 17 months if 3 or more nodules resected), and tumor histology (33 months for malignant fibrous histiocytoma versus 17 months for all others). Multivariate analysis identified the number of nodules detected by computed tomography preoperatively as having significant prognostic value.
A total of 52 tibial plafond (pilon) fractures in 51 patients were retrospectively reviewed from the years 1985-1990 to define the rate of complications encountered during their management. All fractures were managed under faculty supervision at a level I trauma center and its two affiliated institutions. The follow-up period was scrutinized to determine whether or not a complicating event occurred. Major local complications, termed events, were defined as those requiring unplanned surgery due to infection, wound breakdown with subsequent flap coverage, and failure of fixation or fracture healing. Reduction accuracy and final clinical results were not specifically examined. There were 14 (27%) type I, 17 (33%) type II, and 21 (40%) type III Ruedi-Allgower fracture types. The majority (79%) of the fractures were closed and 89% were treated by open reduction and internal fixation. The overall local complication rate was 54%. A total of 21 (40%) pilon fractures (six type I, six type II, and nine type III) had major local complicating events requiring 77 additional operations. Patient follow-up time ranged from 1 week (the occurrence of a major local complication) to 200 weeks (no complication), with a mean of 67 weeks. Kaplan-Meier survivorship (K-M) analysis was utilized to statistically estimate the complication rate in this patient population accounting for the occurrence of censored events. The K-M-determined event rate was 42 +/- 7%. Ten (of 21) pilon fractures had events by 3 weeks, while only two occurred beyond 40 weeks.
Chronic administration of etoposide over multiple days has proved to be an effective schedule against a variety of neoplasms. The usual duration of etoposide administration is 3 to 5 days. However, recent studies have demonstrated this agent can be administered for up to 21 consecutive days with acceptable toxicity. Studies are currently under way to determine whether more protracted etoposide administration will prove to be more efficacious in the management of selected malignancies. Previous work at our institution has confirmed the activity of protracted administration of single-agent etoposide against small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. More recently, we have combined either cisplatin or carboplatin with etoposide given orally for 21 consecutive days in phase II trials in patients with small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. The results of these trials are reviewed.
Etoposide is a schedule-dependent agent with greater activity against small cell lung cancer (SCLC) when a given dose is administered over several days compared with a 1-day administration of the same dose. In an attempt to capitalize on the schedule dependency of etoposide, 22 previously untreated extensive-stage SCLC patients were given cisplatin (100 mg/m2 on day 1) plus 21 days of low-dose, oral etoposide (50 mg/m2/d). Chemotherapy was repeated every 28 days for four cycles. Complete blood counts were monitored weekly, and etoposide was discontinued if either the leukocyte or platelet count dropped below 2000/microliters or 75,000/microliters, respectively. All 22 patients were evaluable for response; 18 had either a complete (9%) or partial response (73%), an overall response rate of 82% (95% confidence interval, 62% to 93%). The median response duration was 7 months, and the median survival was 9.9 months (range, 1 to 17+ months). Sixteen (73%) patients received all planned cycles of etoposide. In Cycle 1 of chemotherapy, the median leukocyte nadir was 2700/microliters (range, 100 to 6300/microliters), and median platelet nadir was 180,000/microliters (range, 51,000 to 397,000/microliters). Life-threatening leukopenia (less than 1000/microliters) was rare (3 of 74 cycles). There were three treatment-related deaths, only one of which was associated with neutropenia. One patient had mild renal insufficiency that resolved after discontinuation of therapy. Alopecia was observed in all patients, but other nonhematologic toxicities were uncommon. A randomized study is necessary to determine if this schedule of cisplatin and etoposide administration is superior to more standard methods. However, these data do not indicate a major survival benefit will be derived from increasing the duration of etoposide administration when used in combination with cisplatin given every 28 days.