Simultaneous treatment with single-agent chemotherapy and radiation for locally advanced cancer of the head and neck

Mario Eisenberger, Maria Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


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 languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalSeminars in oncology
Issue number4 SUPPL. 11
StatePublished - Aug 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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