Curative and organ-preserving treatment with intra-arterial carboplatin induction followed by surgery and/or radiotherapy for advanced head and neck cancer: single-center five-year results

BMC Cancer. 2007 Apr 11;7:62. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-7-62.


Background: This study evaluated the feasibility, toxicity, response rate and survival of neoadjuvant superselective intra-arterial infusion of high dose carboplatin in advanced head and neck cancer.

Methods: Forty-six patients with primary head and neck squamous cell carcinoma received 3 cycles of intra-arterial carboplatin (300 to 350 mg/m2 per cycle every 2 weeks), followed by radiotherapy or surgery plus radiotherapy.

Results: No complications or severe toxicity occurred. Sixteen patients (35%) were complete responders, 20 (43%) partial responders while 10 (22%) did not respond to treatment. After completion of the multimodality treatment, 38/46 patients (83%) were complete responders. After a 5-year follow-up period, 18/46 patients (39%) are alive and disease-free, 3 (6,5%) have died of a second primary tumor and 25 (54.5%) have died of the disease.

Conclusion: Intra-arterial carboplatin induction chemotherapy is a safe, well-tolerated technique that discriminates between responders and non-responders and so may have prognostic significance in planning further integrated treatments aimed to organ preservation for advanced head and neck carcinomas.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Carboplatin / adverse effects
  • Carboplatin / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intra-Arterial
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Carboplatin