Histologic tumor regression grades in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck after preoperative radiochemotherapy

Cancer. 1989 Mar 15;63(6):1097-100. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19890315)63:6<1097::aid-cncr2820630610>3.0.co;2-6.


Forty-one patients with Stage III and IV squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) of the head and neck were treated preoperatively with mitomycin C and 5-fluorouracil and concomitant radiotherapy. Operation specimen were examined histologically, the percentage of vital tumor cells and devitalized tumor cells were graduated. The grade of regression was classified according to a four-stage scale. Tumor regression was elevated as good (Grades 1, 2) and bad (3, 4) response to combined preoperative therapy. After a follow-up of 18 to 30 months, 14 of 41 patients have experienced a locoregional recurrence; all these patients were bad responders (Grades 3, 4) to preoperative radiochemotherapy. There was a statistically significant correlation between tumor regression grade and probability of survival (P less than 0.001). The authors conclude that the prognosis of patients with pretreated SCC of head and neck depends on the histologic grade of tumor regression.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / mortality
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitomycin
  • Mitomycins / administration & dosage
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Remission Induction


  • Mitomycins
  • Mitomycin
  • Fluorouracil