Background: The role of induction chemotherapy (IC) in the treatment of resectable advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma has not been elucidated, and the most effective IC regimen for chemoselection is still unknown. At our institute we have not used the triple combination of docetaxel, cisplatin, fluorouracil (TPF) for chemoselection, but rather the double combination of docetaxel + cisplatin (TP). The aim of this study is to report the outcome of patients with advanced hypopharyngeal cancer treated by single cycle of IC with TP followed by chemoradiation (CRT) or surgery. Methods: A total of 29 patients with resectable advanced hypopharyngeal cancer who were treated with a single cycle of IC were entered into the study. Responders were treated by CRT while nonresponders underwent surgery. Outcomes were analyzed using the Kaplan–Meier method. Results: A single cycle of IC with TP achieved response in 21 of the 29 patients. The major side effect was neutropenia which could be managed without delaying the sequential treatment. The 2-year overall survival and disease-specific survival were both 74.0% (stage III 100%, stage IVA 69.1%). The cumulative 2-year laryngeal preservation rate was 100% for stage III and 53.6% for stage IVA. Conclusion: A single cycle of IC with the combination of docetaxel + cisplatin may be sufficient to select advanced hypopharyngeal cancer patients with radio-sensitivity. IC intended for organ preservation strategies should be low toxic. Our strategy may be a useful for providing the benefits of IC and the opportunity for curative surgery without delay.
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