Archives of oto-rhino-laryngology

, Volume 246, Issue 5, pp 373–377 | Cite as

Induction chemotherapy with cisplatinum, 5-fluorouracil, bleomycin, mitomycin C and hydroxyurea for previously untreated locally advanced squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck

  • G. Fountzilas
  • A. Nicolaou
  • K. Sridhar
  • T. Sideras
  • A. Haritanti
  • C. Anastasakis
  • V. Delis
  • A. Vritsios
  • J. Daniilidis


Fifty-three patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) were treated with a combined modality treatment consisting of three cycles of induction chemotherapy before definitive surgery and/or radiotherapy. Two additional cycles of the same chemotherapy were given after local-regional therapy. The chemotherapeutic regimen included cisplatinum 100 mg/m2 on day 1, 5-fluorouracil 1000 mg/m2 as a continuous infusion on days 2–6, bleomycin 15 units i.m. on days 15 and 29, mitomycin C 4 mg/m2 i.v. on day 22 and hydroxyurea 1000 mg/m2 p.o. on days 23–27. Each cycle was repeated every 42 days.

Forty-nine patients are evaluable for response. There were 37 men and 12 women, with a median age of 58 years (range 18–75 years) and performance status of 80 (range 40–90). Sixteen patients (33%) demonstrated a complete response, 20 (41%) a partial response, yielding a 74% response rate to induction chemotherapy; 12 (24%) patients had stable disease and 1 (2%) progressive disease. The actuarial survival of those patients who completed the whole treatment program was 65% at 2 years and 47% at 3 years. Toxicities included nausea and vomiting (66%), anemia (34%), leukocytopenia (54%), thrombocytopenia (22%), stomatitis (36%), diarrhea (10%), alopecia (78%), hear impairment (4%) and transient creatinine elevation (2%). The results of the present study showed that induction chemotherapy with the above regimen produced a high rate of complete responses and can be safely combined with local-regional therapy to improve local tumor control and increase disease-free survival in patients with locally advanced SCCHN.

Key words

Induction chemotherapy Head and neck cancer Cisplatinum 5-Fluorouracil 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Fountzilas
    • 1
  • A. Nicolaou
    • 2
  • K. Sridhar
    • 5
  • T. Sideras
    • 4
  • A. Haritanti
    • 3
  • C. Anastasakis
    • 2
  • V. Delis
    • 2
  • A. Vritsios
    • 3
  • J. Daniilidis
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MedicineAHEPA University HospitalThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Department of OtolaryngologyAHEPA University HospitalThessalonikiGreece
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyAHEPA University HospitalThessalonikiGreece
  4. 4.Department of OtolaryngologyTheagenion Cancer InstituteThessalonikiGreece
  5. 5.Division of Pulmonary OncologyPapanicolaou Comprehensive Cancer CenterMiamiUSA

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