Further study of nebulisation chemotherapy, a new chemotherapeutic method in the treatment of lung carcinomas: fundamental and clinical

Br J Cancer. 1993 Dec;68(6):1146-9. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1993.495.


Nebulisation chemotherapy, a chemotherapeutic method for the treatment of lung cancer that involves the administration of anticancer agents through the inhalation of nebulised aerosols, has been found to be highly effective (Tatsumura et al., 1983a,b). We confirmed that 5-FU administered by this method accumulates in the trachea, bronchi and regional lymph nodes of patients treated before surgery, along with 5-FU metabolites, FUR and FUdR, indicating that 5-FU is directly incorporated and metabolised in the respiratory tract. Parallel result were obtained using mongrel dogs. The 5-FU levels in other organs, such as the heart and liver, were found to be extremely low. Only a trace of 5-FU was found in the serum of both the patients and the dogs. We further investigated the anti-tumour effect of this therapy in ten selected patients and observed a satisfactory anti-tumour response of 60.0%. These results, along with our previous finding that the retention time of isotope tracers inhaled as aerosol is considerably longer in tumour tissues than in normal parts (Tatsumura et al., 1983a) explain the high antitumour action of this therapy and the absence of adverse effects of administered 5-FU.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy
  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aerosols
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Bronchial Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage*
  • Fluorouracil / analysis
  • Fluorouracil / pharmacokinetics*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lymph Nodes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Aerosols
  • Fluorouracil