Role of Single-Agent Methotrexate as a Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Oral Cavity Cancers

  • Amol Deshpande
  • Vipul V. NanduEmail author
  • Jaideep Jadhav
Original Article


Oral cancers are the most common cancer in India due to tobacco abuse in the form of chewing, smoking, and inhalation. Majority of these patients present late at advanced disease stage. Such patients have significant morbidity irrespective of the intent of treatment; the survival rate is very poor. To improve loco-regional control and survival, neoadjuvant chemotherapy has been started in many centers all over the world. To study the effect of injecting methotrexate as a single agent in (1) down-staging and increasing operability of oral cancers, (2) need for reconstructive surgery, and (3) recurrence. A total of 50 patients with biopsy-proven oral malignancy were selected over a period of 2 years from August 2014 to August 2016 for the study. Patients were subjected to weekly dose of injecting methotrexate 1 mg/kg given intravenously for 6 weeks. All patients underwent surgery after completing 6 cycles of methotrexate. A total 50 patients were started on inj. methotrexate of which 9 patients did not complete neoadjuvant chemotherapy. 53.7% of patients showed more than 50% decrease in tumor size. 29.26% of patients showed complete disappearance of cervical lymph nodes and 31.7% of patients showed more than 50% decrease in size of cervical lymph nodes. 48.78% of patients were managed with wide local excision with primary closure, decreasing the need of reconstructive surgery. 94.74% of patients did not show any recurrence in follow-up period of 1 year. Single agent methotrexate is effective in down-staging oral cancers, improving operability and decreasing morbidity and recurrence among patients.


Oral cancer Neoadjuvant chemotherapy Methotrexate Down-staging 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Indian Association of Surgical Oncology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amol Deshpande
    • 1
  • Vipul V. Nandu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jaideep Jadhav
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General SurgeryShri Vasantrao Naik Government Medical CollegeYavatmalIndia

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