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Neo-adjuvant (primary) organ-preserving chemotherapy in the management of locally advanced laryngeal carcinoma

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We designed an open, non-randomized, phase II clinical study to assess as the first endpoint the feasibility of sparing surgery and of preserving organ/function by using neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) laryngeal cancer patients, and, as the second endpoint, the clinical response to this treatment approach and its duration. 32 patients with primary laryngeal cancer (stage III-IV) were enrolled in the study and were assigned to either the classical Al-Sarrafs regimen (20 patients) or to a regimen consisting of cisplatin 80 mg/m(2) i.v. on day 1, 5-FU 600 mg/m(2) on days 2-5 and vinorelbine 20 mg/m(2) on days 2 and 8 (12 patients). The patients were divided into 2 groups: A) those requiring total laryngectomy (TL) and B) those not requiring TL, i.e. patients eligible for conservative for conservative surgery. The 32 patients were all evaluable for response to NAC and 31 were evaluable for The complete remission rate was 50% (16/32) and the partial remission rate was 46.9% (15/32) with an overall response rate of 96.9%. The median follow-up duration was 20.2 months. Overall, 23 patients required TL (group A) and 8 patients a conservative laryngectomy (group B). 7/23 (30.5%) patients of group A did not undergo surgery (score 4) and 6/23 (26%) achieved a partial larynx preservation (3/23 score 3, 1/23 score 2, 2/23 score 1), while 10/23 (43.5%) received the previously planned TL (score 0). 5/8 (62.5%) patients of group B did not undergo surgery, whereas 3/8 (37.5%) received the previously planned surgery (score 0). Therefore, 12/31 patients (38.7%) completely avoided surgery and 6/31 (19.4%) achieved a reduction in the extent of planned surgical resection, that is 18/31 patients (58.1%) achieved a reduction in the extent of previously planned surgery attributable to NAG. Moreover, 3/31 patients underwent the previously planned conservative surgery consisting of H-SGL/HG. Altogether 21/31 (67.7%) patients preserved function. The most relevant contributions offered by our study are represented by i) a scale aimed at measuring as precisely as possible the reduction of surgical resection made possible by NAC compared to surgery planned before NAC and ii) by an attempt to support the results with an assessment of patients treatment outcome. Although the scale provided by us is an arbitrary one, it must be emphasized that our goal was to address the issue of quality of life in cancer patients by a more precise quantification of organ/function preservation.
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Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 1996

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  • The International Journal of Oncology provides an international forum for the publication of the latest, cutting-edge research in the broad area of oncology and cancer treatment. The journal accepts original high quality works and reviews on all aspects of oncology research including carcinogenesis, metastasis, epidemiology, chemotherapy and viral oncology. Through fair and efficient peer review, the journal is dedicated to publishing top tier research in the field, offering authors rapid publication as well as high standards of copy-editing and production. The International Journal of Oncology is published on a monthly basis in both print and early online.
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