Background and Purpose:The optimal radiochemotherapy regimen for advanced head-and-neck cancer is still debated. This nonrandomized study compares two cisplatin-based radiochemotherapy regimens in 128 patients with locally advanced unresectable stage IV squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). Patients and Methods:Concurrent chemotherapy consisted of either two courses cisplatin (20 mg/m2/d1-5 + 29-33; n = 54) or two courses cisplatin (20 mg/m2/d1-5 + 29-33) + 5-fluorouracil (5-FU; 600 mg/m 2/d1-5 + 29-33; n = 74). Results:At least one grade 3 toxicity occurred in 25 of 54 patients (46%) receiving cisplatin alone and in 52 of 74 patients (70%) receiving cisplatin + 5-FU. The latter regimen was particularly associated with increased rates of mucositis (p = 0.027) and acute skin toxicity (p = 0.001). Seven of 54 (13%) and 20 of 74 patients (27%) received only one chemotherapy course due to treatment-related acute toxicity. Late toxicity in terms of xerostomia, neck fibrosis, skin toxicity, and lymphedema was not significantly different. The 2-year locoregional control rates were 67% after cisplatin alone and 52% after cisplatin + 5-FU (p = 0.35). The metastases-free survival rates were 79% and 69%, respectively (p = 0.65), and the overall survival rates 70% and 51%, respectively (p = 0.10). On multivariate analysis, outcome was significantly associated with performance status, T-category, N-category, hemoglobin level prior to radiotherapy, and radiotherapy break > 1 week. Conclusion:Two courses of fractionated cisplatin (20 mg/m 2/day) alone appear preferable, as this regimen resulted in similar outcome and late toxicity as two courses of cisplatin + 5-FU, but in significantly less acute toxicity.
- Locally advanced head-and-neck cancer
- Treatment outcome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging