Impact of adding concomitant chemotherapy to hyperfractionated accelerated radiotherapy for advanced head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2009 Mar 15;73(4):1088-95. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2008.05.042. Epub 2008 Aug 15.


Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of a hyperfractionated accelerated radiotherapy (RT) schedule combined with concomitant chemotherapy (Cx) in patients with locally advanced head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Methods and materials: Between 2004 and 2007, a total of 90 patients with locoregionally advanced head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma underwent irradiation according to a hybrid fractionation schedule consisting of 20 fractions of 2 Gy (once daily) followed by 20 fractions of 1.6 Gy (twice daily) to a total dose of 72 Gy. Concomitant Cx (cisplatinum 100 mg/m(2)) was administered at the start of Weeks 1 and 4. Treatment outcome and toxicity were retrospectively compared with a previous patient group (n = 73) treated with the same schedule, but without concomitant Cx, between 2001 and 2004.

Results: The locoregional control (LRC) rate was 70% after 2 years. Two-year overall and 2-year disease-free survival rates were 74% and 60%, respectively. In comparison with the RT-only group, an improvement of 15% in both LRC (p = 0.03) and overall survival (p = 0.09) was observed. All patients were treated to full radiation dose according to protocol, although the Cx schedule had to be adjusted in 12 patients. No acute Grade 4 or 5 toxicity was seen, but incidences of Grade 3 acute mucositis (74.5% vs. 50.7%; p = 0.002) and dysphagia (82.2% vs. 47.9%; p < 0.001) were significantly higher in the chemoradiotherapy group compared with patients treated with RT alone.

Conclusion: With this chemoradiotherapy regimen, excellent LRC and survival rates were achieved, with acceptable acute toxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy*
  • Cisplatin / therapeutic use*
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Dose Fractionation, Radiation
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / mortality
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cisplatin