Head and Neck Malignancies: Chemotherapy and Radiation Perspective

  • Mohan Suntharalingam
  • Kathleen Settle
  • Kevin J. Cullen


Squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck represent approximately 5% of cancers diagnosed in the United States each year. More than 40,000 patients will be diagnosed this year, and worldwide this number will exceed 500,000 [1]. Although patients presenting with early-stage disease have high cure rates with either radiation therapy or surgery alone, those diagnosed with locally advanced disease have historically had poorer prognoses and limited therapeutic options. Although most of these cancers tend to remain clinically limited to the head and neck region, locally advanced tumors can still present a significant therapeutic challenge. These tumors are often characterized by invasion into surrounding anatomic structures such as muscle, bone, nerves, or blood vessels and often present with clinically detectable lymph node metastases. Surgical resection with adjuvant radiotherapy does offer a chance of cure for a portion of these patients; however, the opportunity for cure has come at a significant cost in terms of function and cosmesis [2], [3]. These patients have historically had poor long-term survival, and a significant portion die as a result of locoregional disease progression.


Local Control Neck Cancer Radiat Oncol Biol Phys Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Locoregional Control 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohan Suntharalingam
    • 1
  • Kathleen Settle
    • 2
  • Kevin J. Cullen
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of Radiation OncologyUniversity of Maryland Medical SystemsBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Greenebaum Cancer CenterUniversity of MarylandUSA
  4. 4.University of Maryland Medical CenterBaltimoreUSA

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