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Anti-tumour chemotherapy


Cytotoxic drugs administered in high dosage have a much greater effect on tumour cells than on normal cells.1 In recent years great advances have been made using combinations of cytotoxic drugs: combinations in high dosage given intermittently can often produce high anti-tumour activity with low toxicity and, during periods between treatment, the normal cells recover more rapidly than the malignant cells. Major successes have been achieved in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in children2 and in lymphomas, particularly in Hodgkin’s disease3 and in Burkitt’s tumour. This article reviews chemotherapy in other malignant tumours. As optimum treatment schedules have not yet been developed in most of these diseases, dosages are not quoted, but references are given.

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