Regional immunotherapy with intrapleural BCG for lung cancer

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1976 Sep;72(3):333-8.


A living vaccine, the bacille Calmette Guérin (BCG) strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis bovis, has been administered in a single postoperative intrapleural dose as a controlled equivalent of postoperative empyema in 38 patients following pulmonary resection for lung cancer. This form of regional immunotherapy is reasonably well tolerated if the vaccine is given in a limited dose and if a follow-up course of isoniazid (INH) is administered. In this report, the technical details of this new therapeutic program are reviewed. The preliminary findings in a randomized prospective clinical train of the technique indicate that patients with Stage I lung cancer are significantly benefitted by the treatment. Patients with more advanced disease are unimproved by this form of therapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • BCG Vaccine / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Empyema / etiology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Isoniazid / therapeutic use
  • Lung Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms* / surgery*
  • Lung Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Postoperative Complications*


  • BCG Vaccine
  • Isoniazid