Medline: 8410119

The abstract Journal of Clinical Oncology 11(10): 1919-1928, 1993. is available online.

The fulltext Journal of Clinical Oncology 11(10): 1919-1928, 1993. may be available online for subscribers.

Effectiveness of combined induction chemotherapy and radiotherapy in advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

Dimery IW, Peters LJ, Goepfert H, et al.


This prospective trial was conducted with the goal of achieving an improvement in both overall and progression-free survival in previously untreated patients with stage IV nasopharyngeal carcinoma who received an induction chemotherapy regimen of fluorouracil (5-FU) and cisplatin followed by radiotherapy.

Patients and Methods:
From January 1985 to January 1990, 47 patients with T1-4N2-3M0 squamous cell carcinoma of the nasopharynx were treated at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center with two to three cycles of 5-FU (1,000 mg/m2 continuous infusion per day x 5 days) plus cisplatin (100 mg/m2 continuous infusion on day 1 only) followed by radiotherapy using the conventional time/dose schedule.

The response rate to chemotherapy was 93.2% (20.5% complete response [CR]; 72.7% partial response [PR]), and the overall CR rate after radiotherapy was 86%. With a median follow-up period of 53 months, the 2-, 4-, and 6-year survival rates were 80%, 71.6%, and 67.4%; the overall treatment failure rate was 27%. Treatment was well tolerated and without significant acute or chronic toxic effects.

The results of this prospective study demonstrate that 5-FU plus cisplatin followed by radiotherapy can induce a durable remission in a high proportion of patients with poor-prognosis stage IV nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

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