Combined modality treatment with full-dose chemotherapy and concomitant boost radiotherapy for advanced head and neck carcinoma

Jürg Kutter, Mahmut Ozsahin, Philippe Monnier, Roger Stupp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of a treatment concept combining three cycles of full-dose chemotherapy (CT) with concomitant accelerated uninterrupted radiotherapy (RT). Twenty-three patients (median age: 54 years, range: 35-70) with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) were included. The primary tumor involved the hypopharynx (n=7), base of the tongue (n=10), nasopharynx (n=2) or upper esophagus (n=1) or its location was unknown (n=3). Treatment consisted of three cycles of chemotherapy (cisplatin 100 mg/m2 on day 1; 5-FU 1,000 mg/m2 per day for 5 days as a continuous infusion, preceded by amifostine 910 mg/m2), repeated every 3 weeks. Uninterrupted concomitant boost-accelerated RT (total dose of 70 Gy in 6 weeks) started together on day 1 of the second cycle. All but two patients received the full course of RT. Eighteen patients achieved complete remission (78%). At a median follow-up of 45 months the overall survival was 56% (95% c.i. 32-79%) and the loco-regional control 71% (95% c.i. 52-91%). Toxicity involved reversible renal insufficiency of ≥ grade II in 9 patients (39%) and neutropenic fever in 9 patients (39%). All patients suffered from moderate to severe mucositis (grade II/III), and 19 patients presented cutaneous toxicity grade III. Concomitant boost-accelerated RT combined with concurrent full-dose cisplatin/5-FU chemotherapy and amifostine is feasible with manageable, although substantial, toxicity. The overall survival of 4 years is promising. Newer regimens causing less acute mucosal and skin toxicity are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-rhino-laryngology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Amifostine
  • Base of the tongue
  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Organ preservation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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