Neoadjuvant intra-arterial chemotherapy combined with radiotherapy and surgery in patients with advanced maxillary sinus cancer

Radiat Oncol J. 2013 Sep;31(3):118-24. doi: 10.3857/roj.2013.31.3.118. Epub 2013 Sep 30.


Purpose: The optimal treatment of advanced maxillary sinus cancer has been challenging for several decades. Intra-arterial chemotherapy (IAC) for head and neck cancer has been controversial. We have analyzed the long-term outcome of neoadjuvant IAC followed by radiation therapy (RT) and surgery.

Materials and methods: Twenty-seven patients with advanced maxillary sinus cancer were treated between 1989 and 2002. Five-fluorouracil (5-FU, 500 mg/m(2)) was infused intra-arterially, and followed by RT (total 50.4 Gy/28 fractions). A planned surgery was performed 3 to 4 weeks after completion of IAC and RT.

Results: At a median follow-up of 77 months (range, 12 to 169 months), the 5-year rates of overall survival in all patients were 63%. The 5-year rates of overall survival of stage T3/T4 patients were 70.0% and 58.8%, respectively. Seven of fourteen patients with disease recurrence had a local recurrence alone. The 5-year actuarial local control rates in patients with stage T3/T4, and in all patients were 20.0%, 32.3%, and 27.4%, respectively. Overall response rate after the completion of IAC and RT was 70.3%. During the follow-up, seven patients (25.9%) showed mild to moderate late complications. The tumor extent (i.e., the involvement of either orbit and/or base of skull) appeared to be related with local recurrence.

Conclusion: Neoadjuvant IAC with 5-FU followed by RT and surgery may be effective to improve local tumor control in the patients with advanced maxillary sinus cancer. However, local failure was still the major cause of death. Further investigations are required to determine the optimal treatment schedule, radiotherapy techniques and chemotherapy regimens.

Keywords: Intra-arterial infusion; Maxillary sinus neoplasms; Radiation therapy; Surgery.