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Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2011 Aug;41(8):980-6. doi: 10.1093/jjco/hyr086. Epub 2011 Jun 29.

Concomitant weekly cisplatin and radiotherapy for head and neck cancer.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Kita 15, Nishi 7, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8638, Japan.



The most common chemoradiotherapy regimen is high-dose (100 mg/m(2)) three-weekly cisplatin with concomitant radiotherapy; however, this protocol is associated with acute and late toxicities. Here, we reviewed the dose intensity and toxicity for concomitant weekly cisplatin and radiotherapy in patients with head and neck cancer.


Fifty-three patients with untreated head and neck cancer were enrolled and evaluated at our institution from April 2006 to April 2010. Weekly cisplatin (40 mg/m(2)) was given on weeks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 with radiotherapy, which comprised a standard dose of 70 Gy delivered in 35 daily fractions over 7 weeks.


Fifty-one patients (96.2%) received the full dose of radiotherapy, while the course was disrupted by adverse events in two. Over the course of the chemotherapy, 31 patients (58.5%) received more than 200 mg/m(2) cisplatin. The toxicity was manageable in all except one patient, who died of sepsis after completing treatment. The 2-year overall survival rate and local progression-free rate for all patients were 93.7% and 88.0%, respectively. The primary site showed a complete response in 52 patients (98.1%) and a partial response in 1 patient (1.9%). The primary disease was well controlled by chemoradiotherapy in 47 patients (88.7%).


Weekly cisplatin could be easier to manage than three-weekly cisplatin, because patients can be monitored more regularly for toxicity allowing the schedule to be altered if required. This regimen appears to be a suitable alternative to three-weekly high-dose cisplatin with concomitant radiotherapy.

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