Objectives/Hypothesis: Interstitial laser therapy (ILT) has become useful for tumor palliation in patients with advanced head and neck cancer. Cisplatinure chemotherapy also is a frequent adjuvant treatment for recurrent tumors, but systemic toxicity limits application. Intratumor cisplatinum injection combined with ILT may improve therapy of these recurrent tumors with reduced toxicity. Study Design: Prospective. Tumor transplants were injected with cisplatinum in a gel implant before ILT to evaluate treatment response and toxicity in a preclinical study. Methods: UCLA-P3 human squamous cell carcinoma tumors were grown as subcutaneous transplants in nude mice and treated by intratumor injection of 2 mg/mL cisplatinum in a slow-release, collagen-based gel carrier 4 hours before interstitial implantation of Nd:YAG laser fiberoptics to induce local tumor hyperthermia. Treatment efficacy and toxicity were followed for 12 weeks after combined drug and laser therapy compared with ILT alone. Results: Combined cisplatinum gel and ILT was a significant improvement (P < .01 by chi-square test) and induced 57% complete responses without regrowth in 21 transplanted tumors compared with only 24% in 21 tumors after ILT alone during 12-week follow-up. Recurrences in both cases appeared to result from nonuniform laser energy delivery within tumors via the implanted fiberoptic tip. Conclusions: The results of this experimental combined cisplatinum and ILT study suggest it may be possible to improve treatment of advanced head and neck cancer by intratumor injection of gel implants containing the drug followed by interstitial Nd:YAG laser hyperthermia.
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