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Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1994 Jun;23(3):140-8.

Preoperative radiochemotherapy and radical surgery in comparison with radical surgery alone. A prospective, multicentric, randomized DOSAK study of advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity and the oropharynx (a 3-year follow-up).

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  • 1Klinik für Gesichts- und Kieferchirurgie, Universitätsklinik Essen, Germany.


A multicentric, randomized study of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the oral cavity and the oropharynx has been undertaken by DOSAK. The results after radical surgery alone have been compared with the results of combined preoperative radiochemotherapy followed by radical surgery. Patients with primary (biopsy proven) SCC of the oral cavity or the oropharynx with tumor nodes metastasis (TNM) stages T2-4, N0-3, M0 were included in the study. A total of 141 patients were treated by radical surgery alone, whereas 127 patients were treated by radical surgery preceded by preoperative radiochemotherapy. The preoperative treatment consisted of conventionally fractioned irradiation on the primary and the regional lymph nodes with a total dose of 36 Gy (5 x 2 Gy per week) and low-dose cisplatin chemotherapy with 5 x 12.5 mg cisplatin per m2 of body surface during the first week of treatment. Radical surgery according to the DOSAK definitions (DOSAK, 1982) was performed after a delay of 10-14 days. During the follow-up period, 28.2% of all patients suffered from locoregional recurrence, and 27.2% of the patients died. The percentages were higher after radical surgery alone for locoregional recurrence (31% and 15.6%) and for death (28% and 18.6%). The life-table analysis showed improved survival rates of 4.5% after 1 year and 8.3% after 2 years in the group of patients treated with combined therapy. The demonstrated improvement appeared to be significant with the Gehan-Wilcoxon test as well as with the log rank test below a P value of 5%.

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