A randomized trial of radiation therapy compared to split course radiation therapy combined with mitomycin C and 5 fluorouracil as initial treatment for advanced laryngeal and hypopharyngeal squamous carcinoma

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1993 Mar 15;25(4):613-8. doi: 10.1016/0360-3016(93)90006-h.


Two hundred and twelve patients with previously untreated advanced squamous carcinoma of the larynx or hypopharynx were randomized to receive initial treatment with radiotherapy, 50 Gy in 20 fractions in 28 days or split course radiotherapy and concurrent chemotherapy, 25 Gy in 10 fractions in 14 days followed by a 4 week rest and a further 25 Gy in 10 fractions in 14 days starting on day 43; Mitomycin C was given on day 1 and day 43 and 5FU continuous infusions on days 1--4 and days 43--46. Surgery was reserved for persistent or recurrent disease. Two hundred and nine of the 212 patients randomized were included in the analyses. Outcome analyses were performed at a median follow-up interval of 4.4 years. No patients were lost to follow-up. No significant difference was found between the two arms for the end points of local relapse-free rate (p = 0.91), regional relapse-free rate (p = 0.17, adjusted) or overall survival (p = 0.86). Eight-eight patients had attempted surgical resection following radiotherapy failure. The contribution of salvage surgery to overall survival was similar for both arms of the study as was the surgical complication rate. Serious late radiation toxicity was minimal (3% in the RT group, 0% in the radiation therapy plus chemotherapy group). The result of the trial shows no advantage in terms of local control or survival for the experimental treatment arm of split course radiotherapy and concurrent chemotherapy with Mitomycin C and 5 Fluorouracil compared to radiotherapy alone.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypopharyngeal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Hypopharyngeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Hypopharyngeal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Hypopharyngeal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitomycin / administration & dosage
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Radiotherapy / methods
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Recurrence
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Tracheostomy


  • Mitomycin
  • Fluorouracil