High-dose cisplatin in advanced head and neck cancer

Arlene A. Forastiere, Bonnie J. Takasugi, Shan R. Baker, Gregory T. Wolf, Vickie Kudla-Hatch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


In 22 patients with advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck we evaluated the efficacy and toxicity of 200 mg/m2 cisplatin administered in 3% NaCl with vigorous hydration. Six patients had previously untreated stage IV disease and 16 patients had recurrent disease, including eight with prior chemotherapy including low-dose cisplatin and carboplatin. Cisplatin was administered as a brief infusion, either 40 mg/m2/day × 5 or 50mg/m2/day × 4, every 28 days. Objective responses were observed in 16 of 22 (73%) patients, including 5 of 6 (83%) previously untreated patients and 11 of 16 (69%) patients with recurrent disease. This included two comoplete responses, one confirmed pathologically. Fifty-seven courses of drug were administered and toxicity was monitored with serial creatinine clearance determinations, audiograms, and sensorimotor exams. Neuropathy and ototoxicity were dose-limiting and led to the stopping of treatment in 12 of the 16 responders after one to four courses (median three courses). Only two responding patients continued treatment until disease progression occurred at 3 and 4 months after achieving maximum response. Acute, transient nephrotoxicity occurred in four patients; two were retreated. Moderate myelosuppression occurred in all patients but was not treatment-limiting. For most patients the maximally tolerated number of courses was three. The median survival time was 33.5 weeks for recurrent disease patients, 108 weeks for newly diagnosed patients. This regimen is not recommended for the palliation of recurrent disease. However, the very high response rate suggests that high-dose cisplatin may have a useful role in induction or adjuvant chemotherapy regimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-158
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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