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Neoadjuvant chemotherapy with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil in advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: A randomized phase III study



Neoadjuvant chemotherapy with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil in advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: A randomized phase III study



Radiotherapy and Oncology 43(1): 23-28



Background and purpose: In 1986 a prospective, randomized, multi-centre trial for evaluation of neoadjuvant chemotherapy with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil in the treatment of advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck was initiated. As survival in this group of patients is poor the purpose was to find a possible survival benefit of the chemotherapy in addition to radiotherapy compared to radiotherapy only. Methods: Four-hundred sixty-one patients from Denmark, Norway and Sweden with tumors in oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx and larynx were randomized to receive either standard treatment (radiotherapy or radiotherapy followed by surgery) or neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by standard treatment. Chemotherapy included three courses of cisplatin 100 mg/m-2 i.v. infusion on day 1 followed by 5fluorouracil 1000 mg/m-2 per day continuous i.v. infusion for 120 hours. Radiotherapy 64-70 Gy in 2 Gy per fraction, 5 times/week, was given to patients in both treatment arms. Results: Response rate was 71% for patients randomized to chemotherapy-radiotherapy and 66% for patients randomized to standard treatment (not statistically significant). Residual tumors were excised if possible. After surgery 62% of the patients randomized to chemotherapy-radiotherapy and 60% of the patients in the standard treatment group were clinically tumor free. Conclusions: No statistically significant benefit in survival was observed for patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy. Nor was there any impact of chemotherapy on the number of patients achieving loco-regional tumor control after primary treatment.

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Accession: 009080331

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PMID: 9165133

DOI: 10.1016/s0167-8140(97)01922-1



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