Background. Although meta-analysis showed that survival improved with concurrent chemoradiation in locally advanced head and neck cancer, neoadjuvant chemotherapy is still unique, because it renders curative surgery feasible for marginally resectable head and neck cancer patients. Methods. We reviewed patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer, who had been treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy between June 1984 and February 2001 at the Seoul National University Hospital. Results. A total of 167 patients were included. After 2 to 3 chemotherapy cycles, either surgery (38 patients) or radiation (104 patients) was conducted. Those who received surgery exhibited better survival than those who received radiation [median survival: not reached vs 33.6 months (95% CI: 22.6-44.7), p = .006]. The 5-year and 10-year survival rates of surgery group were 63.2% and 59.8%. Conclusion. The potential benefit of neoadjuvant chemotherapy with surgery in patients with locally advanced head and neck cancers merits further evaluation in future clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-350
Number of pages5
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2008


  • Concurrent chemoradiation
  • Curative surgery
  • Locally advanced head and neck cancer
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Survival

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