Is There a Role for Induction Chemotherapy in the Treatment of Advanced Head and Neck Cancer?

  • Mihir K. BhayaniEmail author
  • Cheryl C. Nocon
Part of the Difficult Decisions in Surgery: An Evidence-Based Approach book series (DDSURGERY)


Treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) requires a multimodality approach on many occasions requiring a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Surgery and radiation are mainstays in the definitive treatment of HSNCC, but the last two decades have seen treatment focused on organ preservation with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. However, the role of chemotherapy and its timing is controversial. The initial hypothesis that chemotherapy in the induction setting would reduce metastatic burden did not result in survival benefit and is no longer advised in standard treatment. However, newer chemotherapy agents and dose regimens have led to a renewed interest for induction regimens. This chapter summarizes the key data that study the use of induction chemotherapy in HNSCC with a focus on phase III randomized trials.


TPF TAX 324 Induction chemotherapy Neoadjuvant therapy Meta-analysis of chemotherapy Organ preservation 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Department of SurgeryNorthShore University HealthSystemEvanstonUSA

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