Combination Chemotherapy: The Road to Cure
Pp. 94-107 (14)
Pierre R. Band
The principles of combination chemotherapy to overcome drug resistance
and the use of high intermittent dosage to achieve maximal therapeutic benefits, first
learned from studies in childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia, were applied to other
hematologic malignancies and to solid tumors. As new drugs that were active against
specific malignancies became available, they were tested in combination with other
agents. Drugs with different mechanisms of action and no overlapping toxicity were
preferentially selected for combination chemotherapy. Cures were achieved in
Hodgkin’s disease, testicular cancer and Burkitt’s lymphoma, as well as improved
survival in non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. These major successes occurred in tumors
characterized by a relatively rapid proliferating growth rates and were not paralleled by
similar results in cancers with slower growth rates.
Combination chemotherapy, Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s
lymphomas, Burkitt’s lymphoma, testicular cancer, tumor growth rate.
Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3G 1Y6, Canada.