Forty-five patients with disseminated breast cancer were given a trial of combination chemotherapy consisting of fluorouracil, adriamycin, and cyclophosphamide (FAC) and immunotherapy with BCG given by scarification. The results were compared with those in a comparable group of 44 patients treated with FAC alone immediately before the chemoimmunotherapy study. The remission rates (73% and 76% for FAC and FAC-BCG respectively) were similar in both studies. The durations of remission for patients on FAC-BCG (median 12 months) were longer than remissions achieved for patients given FAC alone (median 8 months) (P = 0.068). The most notable effect of BCG was on survival. Thus 21 out of 34 patients achieving remission on FAC-BCG were alive at the time of the last follow-up examination (median over 22 months) compared with 11 out of 32 patients achieving remission on FAC (median 15 months) (P = 0.01). Twenty-six of the 45 patients given FAC-BCG were alive at the time of the last follow-up examination (median over 22 months) compared with 12 of the 44 patients given FAC (median 15 months) (P = 0.005). Although the apparent benefit of BCG could be explained by a maldistribution of some prognostic factors, the data suggest that further trials of chemoimmunotherapy of breast cancer should be carried out.
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