, Volume 267, Issue 1, pp 1-4
Date: 22 Sep 2009

Definitive chemotherapy: a new frontier in the fight against laryngeal cancer

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The hope of physicians during the nearly 60-year history of cancer chemotherapy has been to cure and to improve survival of patients with systemic therapy. While chemotherapy as a single treatment modality assists in symptom palliation or very modestly improves survival in some metastatic and incurable settings, the curative role of chemotherapy in most solid malignancies has been as an adjunct to or in conjunction with a definitive locoregional therapy, usually surgery or radiotherapy. The curative potential of chemotherapy alone has traditionally been limited to some hematological malignancies and testicular cancers. That concept is now changing.

Laryngeal cancer now joins the ranks of those select malignancies potentially curable with chemotherapy alone. This hypothesis, originally proposed and investigated by Laccourreye et al. [1] in a small series of patients, has been confirmed in recent publications [25].

Reported studies

In 1996, Laccourreye et al. [1] compared the r