Advances in vascular radiology techniques for superselective arterial infusions and methods to overcome systemic toxicity from high-dose cisplatin chemotherapy encouraged us to reevaluate the effects of rapid regional cisplatin infusion for patients with head and neck malignancies. Twenty patients (17 carcinomas, three sarcomas) received high-dose cisplatin (100-200 mg/m2) by this method. Fifteen of the 17 patients with upper aerodigestive tract carcinoma are part of an ongoing phase I dose escalation of cisplatin with sodium thiosulfate neutralization. Three additional patients with sarcomas were treated with intra-arterial (IA) cisplatin and systemic Adriamycin. Fifty-three IA infusions were performed without any complications. Only minimal toxicity related to the chemotherapy was observed. The overall response rate for previously untreated patients was nine of 10 (90%) [complete response (CR) 67%; partial response (PR) 33%]. The response rate for patients with recurrent disease was five of eight (63%) (CR 20%, PR 80%). The average length of follow-up is 9.5 months and the actuarial survival rate is 56%. Superselective rapid infusion of high-dose cisplatin for patients with advanced head and neck malignancies is feasible, relatively nontoxic, and may have important applications in multimodality therapy, particularly for patients with bulky primary disease.