Head and Neck Cancer

Current Treatment Options in Oncology

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 252-260

First online:

Induction Chemotherapy for Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas (SCCHN)

  • Merrill S. KiesAffiliated withDepartment of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, University of Texas, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Email author 

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Opinion statement

Induction chemotherapy for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck has long been known to be highly active with tumor responses observed in a high percentage of patients. More recent studies have added taxane to traditional platin and infusional fluorouracil regimens. Docetaxel, cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil (TPF) is presently studied in prospective controlled trials to better define the efficacy and potential toxicity of sequential treatment with TPF followed by concomitant chemoradiotherapy. We await the results of these trials before we accept induction chemotherapy as a standard treatment and to best identify the subgroups of patients who may be most likely to benefit from the approach.