Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2014 May;57(5):291-296. 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2014.57.5.291.

Chemotherapy of Head and Neck Cancer

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, School of Medicine, Keimyung University, Daegu, Korea. ckyeo@dsmc.or.kr


Head and neck cancers comprise a heterogenous group of cancers that require a multidisciplinary approach. Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and, more recently, target therapy are often employed in various combinations in an attempt to eradicate both clinically apparent and occult disease. The role of chemotherapy in multimodality treatment for locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, although firmly established, presents several unresolved issues. Concomitant platinum-based chemoradiation (CRT) is a standard treatment for unresectable, resectable but nonsurgically treated, and postoperative high-risk patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Cetuximab administered concomitantly with radiotherapy has not been directly compared with CRT but offers a potential different approach using a noncytotoxic systemic agent. In recent years taxanes have been shown activity in head and neck cancers and are being incorporated into neo-adjuvant and concomitant chemotherapy regimens.


Cetuximab; Chemoradiotherapy; Chemotherapy; Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
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