Author(s): Mendenhall WM, Riggs CE, Vaysberg M, Amdur RJ, Werning JW
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The aim of this review was to discuss the role of altered fractionation and adjuvant chemotherapy for patients treated with definitive radiotherapy (RT) for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). METHODS: This review explores the pertinent literature and discusses the optimal management of previously untreated patients with stage III-stage IVA and/or -B HNSCCs. RESULTS: Depending on the schedule, altered fractionation improves locoregional control and survival. Both hyperfractionation and concomitant boost RT improve locoregional control and are associated with improved overall survival (OS). Adjuvant chemotherapy improves OS; the greatest impact is observed after concomitant versus induction or maintenance chemotherapy. Monochemotherapy appears to be equivalent to polychemotherapy. Drugs associated with the greatest survival benefit include fluorouracil and cisplatin. Intraarterial chemotherapy offers no advantage over intravenous chemotherapy. Concomitant cetuximab and RT results in improved outcomes similar to those observed after concomitant cisplatin-based chemotherapy and RT. CONCLUSIONS: Altered fractionation and/or concomitant chemotherapy result in improved outcomes compared with conventionally fractionated definitive RT alone for stage III-stage IV HNSCC. The optimal combination of RT fractionation and chemotherapy remains unclear. (c) 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
This article was published in Head Neck
and referenced in Oncology & Cancer Case Reports