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Keywords:

  • chemoradiotherapy;
  • base of tongue cancer;
  • IMRT;
  • induction chemotherapy;
  • organ preservation

Abstract

Background

Our aim was to report the outcomes of base of tongue cancers treated with chemoradiotherapy.

Methods

Between 1990 and 2004, 127 patients with stage III or IV base of tongue cancer were treated with chemoradiotherapy on protocol. Indications included nodal involvement, T3/T4 tumors, positive margins, those patients refusing surgery, or were medically inoperable. The most common regimen was paclitaxel (100 mg/m2 on day 1), infusional 5-fluorouracil (600 mg/m2/day × 5 days), hydroxyurea (500 mg prescribed orally [PO] 2 × daily [BID]), and 1.5 Gy twice daily irradiation followed by a 9-day break without treatment.

Results

Median follow-up was 51 months. The median dose to gross tumor was 72.5 Gy (range, 40–75.5 Gy). Five-year locoregional progression-free survival, overall survival, and disease-free survival was 87.0%, 58.2%, and 46.0%, respectively.

Conclusion

Concurrent chemoradiotherapy results in promising locoregional control for base of tongue cancer. As distant relapse was common, further investigation of systemic therapy with novel agents may be warranted. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2010