• cisplatin;
  • combined therapy;
  • anal carcinoma;
  • chemoradiation;
  • outcomes


Weekly or daily cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-based chemoradiation was evaluated for patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the anal canal treated at a single institution over a 20-year period.


A retrospective, single-institution analysis was conducted of patients receiving concurrent 5-FU/cisplatin and radiotherapy for locally advanced SCC from 1989 to 2009. Endpoints included clinical complete response rate, local recurrence rate, colostomy-free survival, disease-free survival (DFS), overall survival, and treatment-related toxicity.


A total of 197 patients were evaluable. The majority had American Joint Committee on Cancer stage II (41%) or stage III (46%) disease; most were T2 (44%) or T3 (27%); bulky nodal disease (N2-N3) was noted in 24% of patients. Patients received weekly (20 mg/m2) or daily (4 mg/m2) cisplatin during radiotherapy. Median radiation dose was 55 Gy. Clinical complete response was observed in 185 patients (94%). After a median follow-up of 8.6 years, local recurrence rate was 11%. Sixteen patients (8%) developed distant metastases. The 5-year DFS was 81%, the 5-year overall survival was 86%, and the 5-year colostomy-free survival was 88%. By univariate analysis, N-stage was a poor prognostic indicator for 5-year DFS (P = .02, 95% confidence interval = 1.17-2.01) and distant metastases (P = .046, 95% confidence interval = 1.09-2.13). Increased T-stage correlated with the necessity for salvage surgery (P = .01).


The combination of weekly/daily cisplatin and 5-FU–based chemotherapy with concurrent radiotherapy is an effective regimen, and our long-term results indicate that cisplatin is an alternative to mitomycin C and may be considered for the treatment of locally advanced SCC of the anal canal. Cancer 2013;119:3769–3775. © 2013 American Cancer Society.