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J Clin Oncol. 2006 Mar 1;24(7):1064-71.

Multiagent concurrent chemoradiotherapy for locoregionally advanced squamous cell head and neck cancer: mature results from a single institution.

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  • 1Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA. adelstd@ccf.org



A retrospective review with long-term follow-up is reported from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation studying radiation and concurrent multiagent chemotherapy in patients with locoregionally advanced squamous cell head and neck cancer.


Between 1989 and 2002, 222 patients were treated with 4-day continuous infusions of fluorouracil (1,000 mg/m2/d) and cisplatin (20 mg/m2/d) during weeks 1 and 4 of either once daily or twice daily radiation therapy. Primary site resection was reserved for patients with residual or recurrent primary site disease after chemoradiotherapy. Neck dissection was considered for patients with N2 or greater disease, irrespective of clinical response, and for patients with residual or recurrent neck disease.


With a median follow-up of 73 months, the Kaplan-Meier 5-year projected overall survival rate is 65.7%, freedom from recurrence rate is 74.0%, local control without the need for surgical resection rate is 86.7%, and overall survival rate with organ preservation is 62.2%. Including patients undergoing primary site resection as salvage therapy, the overall local control rate is 92.4%. Regional control rate at 5 years is 92.4%. Among patients with N2-3 disease, regional control was significantly better if a planned neck dissection was performed. Distant control at 5 years was achieved in 85.4% of patients and was significantly worse in patients with hypopharyngeal primary sites and patients with poorly differentiated tumors.


Concurrent multiagent chemoradiotherapy can result in organ preservation and cure in the majority of appropriately selected patients with locoregionally advanced, nonmetastatic, squamous cell head and neck cancer. Distant metastatic disease was the most common cause of treatment failure. Late functional outcomes will require further investigation.

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