May 1st 2002
The 5-year survival of patients with locally advanced squamous cell cancers of the head and neck is still less than 30%. Treatment of these cancers involves significant functional impairment, diminished quality of life, and considerable time and expense. Local recurrence and distant metastases are still fairly common, and the development of second primary cancers has a significant impact on survival in patients with initial early-stage disease. Despite the success of combination chemoradiation in locally advanced head and neck cancers, these facts stress the need for improved treatment of this disease.