Bruce Brockstein, MD | Authors

Commentary (Brockstein/Vokes): Revisiting Induction Chemotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer

June 01, 2005

Argiris et al present a comprehensivereview of inductionchemotherapy for head andneck cancer, and should be lauded fortheir meticulous work. This papercarefully delineates and categorizesmost of the relevant induction chemotherapystudies in head and neckcancer performed over the past 3 decades.The authors have sought to answerquestions regarding the optimalnumber of chemotherapy cycles (acritical factor when one uses responseto induction chemotherapy to determineeligibility for organ preservationor in an attempt to enhance curerates), the optimal chemotherapyregimen, and the possibility of a sitespecificbenefit to induction chemotherapy.The paper assesses benefitbased on treatment intent-that is, organpreservation vs survival benefit.Importantly, by excavating the layersof the past, the authors provide aframework with which to construct anew paradigm of treatment for headand neck cancer that may again incorporateinduction chemotherapy.