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NCI Monogr. 1988;(6):353-6.

Sequential administration of methotrexate, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil in multimodal therapy for locally advanced head and neck cancer.

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Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, IL.


Thirty-eight previously untreated patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer received three cycles of induction chemotherapy with methotrexate (120 mg/m2) followed by cisplatin (100 mg/m2) and a 5-day continuous infusion of 5-fluorouracil (1,000 mg/m2 per day). The response rate in 34 evaluable patients was 94%, with a complete response rate of 26%. Thirty-one patients underwent local therapy following induction chemotherapy, and 25 (81%) were rendered free of disease: 14 of 15 treated with surgery and radiotherapy and 11 of 16 treated with radiotherapy alone. At a median follow-up of 11 months, 8 patients have relapsed while the remaining 17 patients continue free of disease. The dose-limiting toxicity of chemotherapy was mucositis resulting in reduction of the 5-fluorouracil dose in 28 patients. This regimen is highly effective in inducing responses in patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer; 81% of the patients who complete local therapy are rendered free of disease with this multimodal approach. Due to short follow-up, the relapse rate, overall survival, and disease-free survival cannot yet be determined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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