Hyperfractionated radiation therapy and concurrent 5-fluorouracil, cisplatin and mitomycin-C in head and neck carcinoma: A pilot study

A. A. Abitbol, J. G. Schwade, A. A. Lewin, K. Sridhar, A. H. Brandon, A. M. Markoe, R. R. Casiano, P. V. Houdek, C. Serago, D. J. Miller, M. S. Hush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Seventeen patients were entered into a Phase I/II trial of concurrent hyperfractionated radiation therapy (7,440 cGy total dose; 120 cGy b.i.d.) combined with constant infusion of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) (1,000 mg/m2/24 hours for 72 hours) and cisplatin (DDP) (50 mg/m2) for a total of three cycles. Thirteen patients had Stage IV disease; three, Stage III disease; and one, Stage II hypopharyngeal disease. Thirteen of 17 patients had positive cervical lymph nodes, and the mean size of the largest lymph node was 5.5 x 5.1 cm. The patients were not treated with planned adjunctive surgery except for one patient who had a radical neck dissection for massive, rapidly growing cervical adenopathy, which recurred promptly within 1 month before the initiation of protocol therapy. After the initial six patients were entered, mitomycin-C (Mito 8 mg/m2) was added during the second cycle. All the patients completed the planned course of radiotherapy with a median dose of 7,440 cGy and a mean dose of 7,248 cGy except for two patients who died- one from toxicity and the other, suicide. The predominant toxicity was mucositis, which was grade 3/4 in 11 of 15 patients, resulting in an average interruption of radiation therapy of 12 days. Weight loss was significant and was on the average 12% of baseline weight. Hematological toxicity was mild in the 5-FU/DDP group (only one grade 3 toxicity of six) and severe in the 5- FU/DDP/Mito-treated patients (five of eight patients having grade 3/4 toxicity including one leukopenic pneumonitis death). Additional toxicity included one parapharyngeal cellulitis, which responded to antibiotics. Noncompliance with the complex regimen was only seen in three patients. One patient refused b.i.d. radiation therapy, and one patient refused further chemotherapy after the first cycle. Additionally, one patient who had a severe ethanol withdrawal reaction during the first cycle of 5-FU/DDP did not receive further chemotherapy. The complete response rate of both primary site and neck by the protocol regimen alone was 71%. However, two patients, one from each group, did undergo salvage neck dissection, and the locoregional control is currently 73%, with a mean follow-up time of 18.4 months. The feasibility of combining hyperfractionated radiation therapy with aggressive concurrent chemotherapy was demonstrated. The response and local control rate justifies the added toxicity of concurrent chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-255
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Hyperfractionated radiation therapy and concurrent 5-fluorouracil, cisplatin and mitomycin-C in head and neck carcinoma: A pilot study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this