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Case Reports in Otolaryngology
Volume 2016, Article ID 2313714, 5 pages
Case Report

Unilateral Cervical Polyneuropathies following Concurrent Bortezomib, Cetuximab, and Radiotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer

1Indiana University School of Medicine, 1120 W. Michigan Street, Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
2Division of Otolaryngology, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, 100 Campus Drive, Suite 400, Hershey, PA 17033, USA
3King’s College London School of Medicine, Strand, London WC2R 2LS, UK
4Head and Neck Surgery Branch, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
5Radiation Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

Received 3 December 2015; Accepted 11 January 2016

Academic Editor: Kai-Ping Chang

Copyright © 2016 US Government Work. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We report a constellation of cervical polyneuropathies in a patient treated with concurrent bortezomib, cetuximab, and cisplatin alongside intensity modulated radiotherapy for carcinoma of the tonsil with neck metastasis. The described deficits include brachial plexopathy, cervical sensory neuropathy, and oculosympathetic, recurrent laryngeal, and phrenic nerve palsies within the ipsilateral radiation field. Radiation neuropathy involving the brachial plexus is typically associated with treatment of breast or lung cancer; however, increased awareness of this entity in the context of investigational agents with potential neuropathic effects in head and neck cancer has recently emerged. With this report, we highlight radiation neuropathy in the setting of investigational therapy for head and neck cancer, particularly since these sequelae may present years after therapy and entail significant and often irreversible morbidity.