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Oropharyngeal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)

  • Last Modified: 12/12/2013

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Recurrent Oropharyngeal Cancer

Current Clinical Trials

Standard treatment options:

  1. Surgical resection if radiation therapy fails and if technically feasible.[1]

  2. Radiation therapy when surgery fails if not previously given in curative doses that preclude further treatment.[2]

  3. Surgical salvage when surgery fails and if technically feasible.[1]

Treatment options under clinical evaluation:

  1. Clinical trials evaluating the use of chemotherapy should be considered.[3-6]

  2. Clinical trials evaluating the use of hyperthermia and radiation therapy.

Posttreatment follow-up:

  • These patients should have a careful head and neck examination to look for recurrence monthly for the first posttreatment year, every 2 months for the second year, every 3 months for the third year, and every 6 months thereafter. If the patient has metastatic disease or local recurrence that is no longer amenable to surgery or radiation, chemotherapy should be considered.
Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with recurrent oropharyngeal cancer. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.

References
  1. Wong LY, Wei WI, Lam LK, et al.: Salvage of recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma after primary curative surgery. Head Neck 25 (11): 953-9, 2003.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  2. Vikram B, Strong EW, Shah JP, et al.: Intraoperative radiotherapy in patients with recurrent head and neck cancer. Am J Surg 150 (4): 485-7, 1985.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  3. Hong WK, Bromer R: Chemotherapy in head and neck cancer. N Engl J Med 308 (2): 75-9, 1983.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  4. Kish JA, Ensley JF, Jacobs J, et al.: A randomized trial of cisplatin (CACP) + 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) infusion and CACP + 5-FU bolus for recurrent and advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Cancer 56 (12): 2740-4, 1985.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  5. Vogl SE, Schoenfeld DA, Kaplan BH, et al.: A randomized prospective comparison of methotrexate with a combination of methotrexate, bleomycin, and cisplatin in head and neck cancer. Cancer 56 (3): 432-42, 1985.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  6. Jacobs C, Lyman G, Velez-García E, et al.: A phase III randomized study comparing cisplatin and fluorouracil as single agents and in combination for advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. J Clin Oncol 10 (2): 257-63, 1992.  [PUBMED Abstract]