The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of intra-arterial infusion chemotherapy for head and neck cancers using a coaxial catheter technique: the superficial temporal artery (STA)-coaxial catheter method. Thirty-one patients (21 males and 10 females; 37-83 years of age) with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (maxilla, 2; epipharynx, 4; mesopharynx, 8; oral floor, 4; tongue, 10; lower gingiva, 1; buccal mucosa, 2) were treated by intra-arterial infusion chemotherapy. Four patients were excluded from the tumor-response evaluation because of a previous operation or impossibility of treatment due to catheter trouble. Forty-eight sessions of catheterization were performed. A guiding catheter was inserted into the STA and a microcatheter was advanced into the tumor-feeding artery via the guiding catheter under angiographic guidance. When the location of the tumor or its feeding artery was uncertain on angiography, computed tomographic angiography was performed. The anticancer agent carboplatin (CBDCA) was continuously injected for 24 h through the microcatheter from a portable infusion pump attached to the patient's waist. The total administration dose was 300-1300 mg per body. External radiotherapy was administered during intra-arterial chemotherapy at a total dose of 21-70.5 Gy. The initial response was complete response in 15 patients, partial response in 7 patients, and no change in 5 patients; the overall response rate was 81.5% (22/27). Complication-related catheter maintenance was observed in 15 of 48 sessions of catheterization. Injury and dislocation of the microcatheter occurred 10 times in 7 patients. Catheter infection was observed three times in each of two patients, and catheter occlusion and vasculitis occurred in two patients. Intra-arterial infusion chemotherapy via the STA-coaxial catheter method could have potential as a favorable treatment for head and neck tumors.
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