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Head Neck. 2000 Sep;22(6):543-9.

High-dose intra-arterial cisplatin and concurrent hyperfractionated radiation therapy in patients with locally advanced primary squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: report of a phase II study.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Medicine, University of Kentucky, 800 Rose Street, Lexington, Kentucky 40536-0293, USA.



This phase II study evaluates the tolerability and efficacy of concurrent hyperfractionated radiation therapy (HFX-RT) and high-dose intra-arterial (IA) cisplatin in patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).


Between December 1995 and November 1997, 20 patients with locally advanced T4/T3 SCCHN were treated with HFX-RT (76.8-79.2 Gy at 1.2 Gy bid over 6-7 weeks) and high-dose IA cisplatin (150 mg/m(2) given at the start of RT boost treatment [start of week 6]). Seventeen patients (85%) had T4 disease, and 14 (70%) had N2/ N3 disease.


Grade 3-5 acute toxicity was limited to one grade 4 (5%) and 14 grade 3 (70%) mucosal events. No grade 3/4 hematologic toxicity was observed. Median weight loss during therapy was 9% (range, 2%-16%). Eighteen patients had complete response (90%) at the primary site; 14 were confirmed pathologically. Among 17 patients with positive neck disease, 16 (94%) achieved complete response in the neck, including 12 of 13 patients with N2/N3 disease who underwent planned neck dissection. Active follow-up ranges from 12 to 32 months (median, 20 months) with 11 patients alive without disease, 5 dead of disease, and 4 dead of intercurrent disease. Eighteen patients (90%) remained disease free at the primary site, and the locoregional control rate is 80%.


High-dose IA cisplatin and concurrent HFX-RT as used in this study is feasible and warrants further investigation. The high complete response rate and low grade 4 toxicity in this highly unfavorable subset of patients appears better than previously reported chemoradiation regimens for more favorable patients.

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