Skip to content

Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Stage III Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer

continued...

Standard treatment options:

  1. Radiation therapy alone or neck dissection:
    • N1 (0–2 cm).
    • N2b or N3; all nodes smaller than 2 cm. (A combined surgical and radiation therapy approach should also be considered.)
  2. Radiation therapy and neck dissection:
    • N1 (2–3 cm), N2a, N3.
  3. Surgery followed by radiation therapy, indications for which are as follows:
    • Multiple positive nodes.
    • Contralateral subclinical metastases.
    • Invasion of tumor through the capsule of the lymph node.
    • N2b or N3 (one or more nodes in each side of the neck, as appropriate, >2 cm).
  4. Radiation therapy prior to surgery:
    • Large fixed nodes.

Treatment options under clinical evaluation (all stage III lesions):

  • Chemotherapy has been combined with radiation therapy in patients who have locally advanced disease that is surgically unresectable.[8,10,14,15]

A meta-analysis of 63 randomized, prospective trials published between 1965 and 1993 showed an 8% absolute survival advantage in the subset of patients receiving concomitant chemotherapy and radiation therapy.[16][Level of evidence: 2A] Patients receiving adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy had no survival advantage. Cost, quality of life, and morbidity data were not available; no standard regimen existed; and the trials were felt to be too heterogenous to provide definitive recommendations. The results of 18 ongoing trials may further clarify the role of concomitant chemotherapy and radiation therapy in the management of oral cavity cancer.

The best chemotherapy to use and the appropriate way to integrate the two modalities is still unresolved.[17]

Similar approaches in the patient with resectable disease, in whom resection would lead to a major functional deficit, are also being explored in randomized trials but cannot be recommended at this time as standard.

Novel fractionation radiation therapy clinical trials are under clinical evaluation.[13]

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage III lip and oral cavity 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. Harrison LB, Sessions RB, Hong WK, eds.: Head and Neck Cancer: A Multidisciplinary Approach. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, William & Wilkins, 2009.
  2. Franceschi D, Gupta R, Spiro RH, et al.: Improved survival in the treatment of squamous carcinoma of the oral tongue. Am J Surg 166 (4): 360-5, 1993.
  3. Ervin TJ, Clark JR, Weichselbaum RR, et al.: An analysis of induction and adjuvant chemotherapy in the multidisciplinary treatment of squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck. J Clin Oncol 5 (1): 10-20, 1987.
  4. Al-Kourainy K, Kish J, Ensley J, et al.: Achievement of superior survival for histologically negative versus histologically positive clinically complete responders to cisplatin combination in patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer. Cancer 59 (2): 233-8, 1987.
  5. Adjuvant chemotherapy for advanced head and neck squamous carcinoma. Final report of the Head and Neck Contracts Program. Cancer 60 (3): 301-11, 1987.
  6. Ensley J, Crissman J, Kish J, et al.: The impact of conventional morphologic analysis on response rates and survival in patients with advanced head and neck cancers treated initially with cisplatin-containing combination chemotherapy. Cancer 57 (4): 711-7, 1986.
  7. Mazeron JJ, Martin M, Brun B, et al.: Induction chemotherapy in head and neck cancer: results of a phase III trial. Head Neck 14 (2): 85-91, 1992 Mar-Apr.
  8. Al-Sarraf M, Pajak TF, Marcial VA, et al.: Concurrent radiotherapy and chemotherapy with cisplatin in inoperable squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. An RTOG Study. Cancer 59 (2): 259-65, 1987.
  9. Browman GP, Cripps C, Hodson DI, et al.: Placebo-controlled randomized trial of infusional fluorouracil during standard radiotherapy in locally advanced head and neck cancer. J Clin Oncol 12 (12): 2648-53, 1994.
  10. Merlano M, Benasso M, Corvò R, et al.: Five-year update of a randomized trial of alternating radiotherapy and chemotherapy compared with radiotherapy alone in treatment of unresectable squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. J Natl Cancer Inst 88 (9): 583-9, 1996.
  11. Johnson CR, Khandelwal SR, Schmidt-Ullrich RK, et al.: The influence of quantitative tumor volume measurements on local control in advanced head and neck cancer using concomitant boost accelerated superfractionated irradiation. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 32 (3): 635-41, 1995.
  12. Licitra L, Grandi C, Guzzo M, et al.: Primary chemotherapy in resectable oral cavity squamous cell cancer: a randomized controlled trial. J Clin Oncol 21 (2): 327-33, 2003.
  13. Stuschke M, Thames HD: Hyperfractionated radiotherapy of human tumors: overview of the randomized clinical trials. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 37 (2): 259-67, 1997.
  14. Bachaud JM, David JM, Boussin G, et al.: Combined postoperative radiotherapy and weekly cisplatin infusion for locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: preliminary report of a randomized trial. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 20 (2): 243-6, 1991.
  15. Merlano M, Corvo R, Margarino G, et al.: Combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy in advanced inoperable squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. The final report of a randomized trial. Cancer 67 (4): 915-21, 1991.
  16. Pignon JP, Bourhis J, Domenge C, et al.: Chemotherapy added to locoregional treatment for head and neck squamous-cell carcinoma: three meta-analyses of updated individual data. MACH-NC Collaborative Group. Meta-Analysis of Chemotherapy on Head and Neck Cancer. Lancet 355 (9208): 949-55, 2000.
  17. Taylor SG 4th, Murthy AK, Vannetzel JM, et al.: Randomized comparison of neoadjuvant cisplatin and fluorouracil infusion followed by radiation versus concomitant treatment in advanced head and neck cancer. J Clin Oncol 12 (2): 385-95, 1994.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: September 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
1|2|3
1|2|3
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Colorectal cancer cells
A common one in both men and women.
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
 
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Ovarian cancer illustration
Do you know the symptoms?
 
Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
Blog
what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
 
colorectal cancer treatment advances
Video
breast cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
prostate cancer overview
SLIDESHOW
lung cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
Actor Michael Douglas
Article