Advanced head and neck cancer (HNC) patients have good response rates with radiochemotherapy. However, quality of life is often severely affected and the main reason for high rates of suicide. For a deliberately milder treatment, there is an option to selectively treat the tumor region with chemotherapy. This study reports on the treatment of oropharyngeal carcinoma with intra arterial short-term infusion.
55 patients, suffering from inoperable carcinoma of the oropharynx have been treated with intra-arterial short-term infusion chemotherapy via angiocatheters or implanted arterial port catheters. Infusion time of 7 to 12 minutes. Patients with high tumor load or lung metastases had additional treatment of isolated thoracic perfusion.
Divergent overall survival rates have been noted depending on the pretreatment of the patients. One-, two-, and three-year survival rates of 76 %, 54 % and 35 % for patients without prior irra-diation and 40 %, 7 % und 7 % for priorly irradiated patients have been observed. Particularly long overall survival rates have been observed for the subgroup of patients with pretreatment but without irradiation suffering from relapsed cancer, who reached median survival rates of 33.5 months. In contrast, the median survival of irradiated patients suffering from recurrent cancer was 8.2 months. Tracheostomy and tube feeding could be avoided in any case.
Randomized clinical trials are necessary to support these results. However, small dosages can generate high concentrations in limited volumes and therefore have an increased effect while keeping side effects low.
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