Hanyang Med Rev.  2009 Aug;29(3):198-203. 10.7599/hmr.2009.29.3.198.

Organ Preservation for the Management of Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

  • 1Department of Medicine School of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea. silkahn@skku.edu


The multidisciplinary approach to treat squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck cancer is evolving and complex. Induction chemotherapy has been used in resectable disease for organ preservation, and has shown similar survival when compared with concurrent chemoradiotherapy. Thus, concurrent cisplatin-based chemoradiotherapy is considered as standard treatment for organ preservation for larynx, hypopharynx, and oropharynx cancers. Given that recent evidence of survival benefits with taxane-containing combination chemotherapy for induction chemotherapy, the concept of induction chemotherapy followed by concurrent chemotherapy is being revised. Also, with advances in molecular biology of cancer, a new molecular targeted agent, epidermal growth factor inhibitor (EGFR) antagonist such as EGFR monoclonal antibody showed promising results in the treatment of patients with both locoregionally advanced and metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck cancer. Trials with incorporation of this agent are ongoing. In this article, some recent advances in the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck cancer, in particular the expanding role of chemotherapy in organ preservation will be reviewed.


Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck cancer; Organ preservation
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