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Br J Cancer. Dec 2000; 83(12): 1594–1598.
PMCID: PMC2363468

Randomized trial of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in oropharyngeal carcinoma

Abstract

The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of neoadjuvant chemotherapy on the survival of patients with oropharyngeal cancer. Patients with a squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx for whom curative radiotherapy or surgery was considered feasible were entered in a multicentric randomized trial comparing neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by loco-regional treatment to the same loco-regional treatment without chemotherapy. The loco-regional treatment consisted either of surgery plus radiotherapy or of radiotherapy alone. Three cycles of chemotherapy consisting of Cisplatin (100 mg/m2) on day 1 followed by a 24-hour i.v. infusion of fluorouracil (1000 mg/m2/day) for 5 days were delivered every 21 days. 2–3 weeks after the end of chemotherapy, local treatment was performed. The trial was conducted by the Groupe d'Etude des Tumeurs de la Tête Et du Cou (GETTEC). A total of 318 patients were enrolled in the study between 1986 and 1992. Overall survival was significantly better (P = 0.03) in the neoadjuvant chemotherapy group than in the control group, with a median survival of 5.1 years versus 3.3 years in the no chemotherapy group. The effect of neoadjuvant chemotherapy on event-free survival was smaller and of borderline significance (P = 0.11). Stratification of the results on the type of local treatment, surgery plus radiotherapy or radiotherapy alone, did not reveal any heterogeneity in the effect of chemotherapy. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com

Keywords: oropharyngeal cancer, chemotherapy, randomized trial, cisplatin, fluorouracil

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Selected References

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