Cancer of the head and neck, or aerodigestive tract, represents only a small percentage of all cancer cases in the United States, yet its variable presentations have wide-ranging implications that make it one of the most problematic cancers. Recent research has focused on treatment approaches for the patient with advanced disease. Encouraging results have been noted with combination cisplatin/5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and, more recently, with carboplatin/5-FU, particularly in previously untreated patients. The carboplatin-containing regimen has several important advantages over that with cisplatin, including outpatient administration and less severe nausea and vomiting, an important consideration in terms of nutritional support for head and neck cancer patients. The demonstration of possible synergistic activity between platinum compounds and radiation therapy also has prompted considerable interest, as such a combined-modality approach offers the potential for improved quality of life in patients with head and neck cancers. Carboplatin is an excellent agent for the treatment of squamous cell head and neck cancers, with recognized single-agent activity and a high degree of efficacy, when combined with 5-FU. Carboplatin can be combined effectively with concurrent radiotherapy and, with its advantages over cisplatin, is increasingly used as part of initial therapy for head and neck cancers.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Seminars in oncology|
|Issue number||1 SUPPL. 2|
|State||Published - Feb 1992|
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