Combined radiotherapy and bleomycin in patients with inoperable head and neck cancer with unfavourable prognostic factors and severe symptoms

E. Minatel, M. Gigante, G. Franchin, C. Gobitti, M. Mascarin, L. Bujor, L. Barzan, M. G. Trovò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of concurrent split course radiotherapy and low-dose bleomycin in the treatment of unresectable head and neck cancer with unfavourable prognostic factors and severe syptoms. The clinical outcome of the treatment was assessed in terms of local disease control, symptom relief and toxicity. Between 1990 and 1996, 58 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, stage III or IV, were treated by radiotherapy (50 Gy/20 fractions) and simultaneous bleomycin (60 mg/6 fractions). Local control of disease, overall response, symptom relief and acute toxicity were evaluated. The rate of disease local control was 69% with a median response duration of 7 months (range 2-43 +). The symptom relief rate was 81%. Mucositis was the prominent toxicity: G3 mucositis was reported in 27 patients. In conclusion, the treatment was feasible. A good palliation of symptoms and a good rate of local response were obtained. Moreover, toxicity was tolerable and the rate of hospitalisation was low.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-122
Number of pages4
JournalOral Oncology
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998

Keywords

  • Chemotherapy
  • Head and neck neoplasms
  • Palliative treatment
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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