Is there a role of induction chemotherapy followed by resection in T4b oral cavity cancers?


OBJECTIVE The objective of the following study is to investigate the efficacy and impact of induction chemotherapy in T4b oral cavity cancers. MATERIALS AND METHODS It's a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data of T4b oral cavity cancer patients who were offered induction chemotherapy and then assessed for resectability at the end of 2 cycles of chemotherapy. Post-induction these patients either underwent surgical or non-surgical local intervention depending upon their response. These patients were then followed-up until either recurrence progression or death whichever was later. Statistical analysis was performed by SPSS version 16. Descriptive analysis was performed. Factors affecting achievement of resectability were sought by univariate and multivariate analysis. The impact of surgery on overall survival (OS) was studied using Kaplan Meier survival analysis with the use of log rank test. RESULTS A total of 110 patients received chemotherapy. Median age been 41.5 years (range 25-66 years). 21 (20%) of our patient received 3 drug regimen while the rest of our patients received 2 drug regimen. Partial response was achieved in 28 patients, stable disease in 49 patients and progression was noted in 23 patients. Resectability was achieved in 34 (30.9%) of 110 patients. The estimated median OS in patients who underwent surgery was 18.0 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 13.6-22.46 months) and for those treated with non-surgical treatment was 6.5 months (95% CI: 5.6-7.4 months) (P = 0.0001). CONCLUSION Use of induction chemotherapy is safe and can achieve resectability in 30.9% of our T4b patients. In those patients undergoing resection have much better OS then those who underwent non-surgical local treatment.


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