Chemotherapy versus chemoimmunotherapy with levamisole or Corynebacterium parvum in advanced lung cancer

Cancer Treat Rep. 1982 Jun;66(6):1291-7.


A total of 109 patients with advanced lung cancer, all cell types, were randomized between MACC chemotherapy only, consisting of methotrexate, doxorubicin (Adriamycin), cyclophosphamide, and lomustine (CCNU); MACC plus levamisole (LMS) orally; and MACC plus Corynebacterium parvum (CP) sc. Of these patients, 101 were evaluable, with no differences among the three treatment groups for overall response rate and survival time. Objective response rates and median survival times were 41% and 230 days for patients given MACC only, 39% and 257 days for those given MACC plus LMS, and 44% and 223 days for those given MACC plus CP, respectively. There was a significant increase in survival for patients with large cell anaplastic carcinoma receiving CP or LMS, particularly in the good-performance-status category. Pretreatment delayed cutaneous hypersensitivity to recall antigens in 50 patients had prognostic significance, but repeat tests after 2 months of treatment in 30 patients did not show different patterns of conversion among the three groups. There was no difference in hematologic toxicity among the three groups. With the possible exception of large cell anaplastic carcinoma, immunotherapy with LMS or CP as given in this trial does not appear to be therapeutically advantageous in advanced lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols*
  • Bacterial Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / therapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Cyclophosphamide / adverse effects
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / adverse effects
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Levamisole / administration & dosage*
  • Levamisole / adverse effects
  • Lomustine / administration & dosage
  • Lomustine / adverse effects
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / administration & dosage
  • Methotrexate / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Propionibacterium acnes / immunology
  • Random Allocation


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Levamisole
  • Lomustine
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Methotrexate

Supplementary concepts

  • MACC combination