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J Clin Oncol. 1993 Oct;11(10):1919-28.

Effectiveness of combined induction chemotherapy and radiotherapy in advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.



This prospective trial was conducted with the goal of achieving an improvement in both overall and progression-free survival in previously untreated patients with stage IV nasopharyngeal carcinoma who received an induction chemotherapy regimen of fluorouracil (5-FU) and cisplatin followed by radiotherapy.


From January 1985 to January 1990, 47 patients with T1-4N2-3M0 squamous cell carcinoma of the nasopharynx were treated at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center with two to three cycles of 5-FU (1,000 mg/m2 continuous infusion per day x 5 days) plus cisplatin (100 mg/m2 continuous infusion on day 1 only) followed by radiotherapy using the conventional time/dose schedule.


The response rate to chemotherapy was 93.2% (20.5% complete response [CR]; 72.7% partial response [PR]), and the overall CR rate after radiotherapy was 86%. With a median follow-up period of 53 months, the 2-, 4-, and 6-year survival rates were 80%, 71.6%, and 67.4%; the overall treatment failure rate was 27%. Treatment was well tolerated and without significant acute or chronic toxic effects.


The results of this prospective study demonstrate that 5-FU plus cisplatin followed by radiotherapy can induce a durable remission in a high proportion of patients with poor-prognosis stage IV nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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