Tumor volume as a predictive parameter in the sequential therapy (induction chemotherapy) of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas

  • M. BohlenEmail author
  • C. -J. Busch
  • S. Sehner
  • F. Forterre
  • J. Bier
  • C. Berliner
  • L. Bußmann
  • A. Münscher
Head & Neck



Tumor volume in locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (LAHNSCC) treated by induction chemotherapy (ICT) and followed by radiochemotherapy (RCT) was measured. The presence of potential correlation of initial tumor volume and volume reduction after ICT and RCT with remission status, overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were investigated. Furthermore, reliability of approximation of the tumor volume relying on its diameter to manual three-dimensional measurement was assessed.


Data of patients with LAHNSCC treated by ICT consisting of docetaxel, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil (TPF) followed by definite RCT were retrospectively analyzed. The tumor volume was calculated slice-by-slice in contrast-enhanced CT or MRI before and after ICT as well as after complete treatment. The volume was compared to radiologic remission status, correlated with OS and DFS, and to volume estimation using tumor diameter.


65 patients were included. Primary tumor volume did not correlate with complete remission rate (CR) after ICT and RCT, OS or DFS. The change in tumor volume between baseline imaging and post-RCT had a significant impact on OS (p = 0.026) and DFS (p = 0.028). The agreement between tumor volume and radiologic remission was 72.14%.


The initial tumor volume had no influence on CR, OS or DFS. A severe response to ICT did not predict a powerful RCT outcome. The change in tumor volume post-RCT had an impact on OS and DFS. Tumor volume estimation using its diameter seems to be a reliable method.


Head and neck neoplasms Induction chemotherapy Remission status Treatment outcome 



This study was not funded by any grant.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

M. Bohlen declares that she has no conflict of interest. CJ Busch declares that she has no conflict of interest. S. Sehner declares that she has no conflict of interest. F. Forterre declares that he has no conflict of interest. JC. Bier declares that he has no conflict of interest. C. Berliner declares that he has no conflict of interest. L. Bussmann declares that she has no conflict of interest. A. Münscher declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee, and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16 KB)
405_2019_5323_MOESM2_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 12 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery and OncologyUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Medical Biometry and EpidemiologyUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany
  3. 3.Department of Veterinary Medicine, Small Animal SurgeryVetsuisse Faculty BernBernSwitzerland
  4. 4.Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Nuclear MedicineUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany

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