Concomitant administration of two standard regimens of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in advanced squamous carcinoma of the head and neck: A feasibility study

M. Benasso, R. Corvo, G. Numico, M. Cavallari, F. Blengio, G. Sanguineti, M. Rosso, M. Merlano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background. In advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, the superiority of a chemo-radiotherapy combination over radiotherapy alone has been strongly suggested. However; the best modality to combine the two treatments has still to be determinated. A pilot study was designed, testing a combination of two standard chemo- and radiotherapy regimens concomitantly administered. Materials and Methods: 26 patients, with unresectable squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, were treated with three cycles of chemotherapy (cisplatin 20 mg/m2/day and fluorouracil 200 mg/m2/day as an intravenous bolus for 5 consecutive days, every 21) simultaneously delivered with radiation (66-70 Gy/33-35 fractions/7 weeks). In order to reduce the mucoseal toxicity observed in the first 15 patients; 1 week of pause was inserted after the third week of treatment in the subsequent 11 patients. Results: Grade III-IV mucositis was detected in 40% of patients treated without pause after the third week of treatment and in 9% of those treated with. Complete responses were obtained in 13/26 patients (50%) and partial responses in 8/26 (31%). 1 stable disease 3 early deaths (1 because of toxicity) and 1 lost before being evaluated were considered as treatment failures (19%). Conclusions: This concomitant chemo-radiotherapy approach showed a good antitumour activity but mucoseal toxicity is too high if no pause is planned during the treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2651-2654
Number of pages4
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number6 B
Publication statusPublished - 1995



  • Chemotherapy
  • Head and neck
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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