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Cancer Clin Trials. 1981;4(2):215-8.

Combination chemotherapy with cisplatin, bleomycin, and methotrexate in patients with advanced head and neck cancer.


Twenty-six patients with advanced head and neck cancer, 22 of whom had failed prior surgery and/or radiotherapy, were treated with a combination regimen of cis-diamminedichloroplatinum II, bleomycin, and methotrexate. There were no complete responses. Nine patients achieved a partial response (35%). Three of the four (75%) patients without prior therapy achieved a partial response while only 6 of the 22 patients (27%) with prior surgery and/or radiation therapy obtained a partial response. The median response duration was 3 months. Patients with a partial response did not live significantly longer than those who did not live significantly longer than those who did not respond. Toxic reactions were frequent: there were three episodes of sepsis secondary to leukopenia and two cases of bleomycin pulmonary toxicity. Mucositis was noted in 40% and nausea and vomiting in 60% of patients. We conclude that this triple-drug regimen has little value in the treatment of patients with advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck who have failed prior surgery and radiotherapy.

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