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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1989 Jul;17(1):3-9.

Randomized clinical trial of mitomycin C as an adjunct to radiotherapy in head and neck cancer.

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Dept. of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510.


A randomized prospective clinical trial was carried out to assess the usefulness of the addition of mitomycin C to radiation therapy used alone or in combination with surgery for the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck region. One hundred and twenty patients with biopsy proven tumor of the oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx, hypopharynx, and nasopharynx were randomly assigned to receive or not receive mitomycin C; all other aspects were similar in the two treatment groups. One hundred and seventeen patients were evaluable with a median follow-up time of greater than 5 years. Acute and chronic normal tissue radiation reactions were equivalent in the two treatment groups. Hematologic and pulmonary toxicity were observed in the drug treated patients. Actuarial disease-free survival at 5 years was 49% in the radiation therapy group and 75% in the radiation therapy plus mitomycin C group, p less than 0.07. Local recurrence-free survival was 66% in the radiation therapy group and 87% in the radiation therapy plus mitomycin C group, p less than 0.02. The findings demonstrate that mitomycin C can be administered safely as an adjunct to radiation therapy in the treatment of head and neck cancer. The drug improves local tumor control without enhancing normal tissue radiation reactions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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