• Fosfomycin;
  • cis-platinum;
  • squamous cell carcinoma.


Objectives/Hypothesis Cis-platinum is the most frequently used chemotherapeutic agent for the treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (SCCA). Ototoxicity and nephrotoxicity continue to be the primary dose-limiting toxicities encountered. Fosfomycin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic, has been previously shown to be both otoprotective and nephroprotective against cis-platinum toxicity. Previous in vitro work demonstrated that fosfomycin does not inhibit the tumoricidal actions of cis-platinum. This study tests whether fosfomycin inhibits cis-platinum in vivo.

Methods An SCCA cell line was grown in vivo in four groups of nude mice, which then received no treatment, standard-dose cis-platinum, high-dose cis-platinum, or high-dose cis-platinum with fosfomycin.

Results Fosfomycin did not inhibit the tumoricidal activity of cis-platinum. Mice treated with fosfomycin also had longer survival, which is probably due to lessening of immediate cis-platinum systemic toxicity.

Conclusion This study shows that fosfomycin in combination with cis-platinum may be useful in treating advanced, and possibly relatively chemoresistant, SCCA of the head and neck.