Sixty-nine patients were entered in a randomized study to determine the usefulness and practicality of parenteral hyperalimentation (TPN) in preparing and supporting patients with head and neck cancer undergoing radical resections. The patients were stratified by nutritional status and prognosis and randomization were done within each strata to TPN or control. Minimum full TPN was given at 35 calories/kgm/day for at least 14 days postoperatively. Eight patients received preoperative TPN also. Control patients received customary enteral alimentation by feeding tubes. Under the conditions of this particular study, the administration schedules, and type of solutions used, we were unable to demonstrate any superiority of TPN over conventional enteral nutrition in terms of immune parameters, wound healing, complications, and survival.