A substantial proportion of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck have extensive locoregional disease at presentation. While extensive surgical procedures may completely eradicate local disease with acceptable morbidity for smaller tumors, in patients with stage III and IV disease, high local relapse rates and relatively short survival times still characterize the course of the majority of such patients. For patients with locally unresectable disease, the combined use of chemotherapy and radiation has resulted in encouraging data both in terms of local control and survival. Combined-modality programs frequently employ platinum coordination complexes, and standard or hyperfractionated radiotherapy toxicity data suggest that the overall tolerance of such programs is acceptable and, more important, long-term follow-up has shown that function can be largely preserved. In this review we illustrate the experience with combined single-agent chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and discuss the methodologic difficulties of clinical trials in this setting. We describe our experience with combined carboplatin and simultaneous conventional radiation in patients with extensive unresectable locoregional disease. Encouraging results and modest toxicity clearly support further testing with this approach, especially in patients with less advanced and bulky disease.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Seminars in oncology|
|Issue number||4 SUPPL. 11|
|State||Published - Aug 1992|
ASJC Scopus subject areas