Combined-Modality Therapy for Head and Neck Cancer
December 01, 1997BySamuel G. Taylor Iv, MD
In 1970, Ansfield and colleagues published the results of a randomized trial in head and neck cancer, which showed that giving fluorouracil (5-FU) concomitantly with radiation decreased regional recurrences and improved overall survival over radiation alone. Publication of these results came 6 years before those of an Italian trial showing similar findings with adjuvant cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and 5-FU (CMF) in breast cancer. Yet, while adjuvant chemotherapy has rapidly become the norm in the management of early breast cancer, concomitant chemotherapy is still considered undefined in the treatment of head and neck cancer. This situation is elegantly described by Dr. Karen Fu, one of the most respected investigators in this area.