Table of Contents
Diagnostic and Therapeutic Endoscopy
Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages 133-140

Combined Cisplatinum and Laser Thermal Therapy for Palliation of Recurrent Head and Neck Tumors

1Division of Head and Neck Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine, 62-132 CHS, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1624, USA
2Division of Surgical Oncology, UCLA School of Medicine, 31-24 Rehab Building, 1000 Veteran Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90095-1794, USA
3Division of General Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine, 31-24 Rehab Building, 1000 Veteran Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90095-1794, USA

Received 16 August 1999; Revised 18 October 1999; Accepted 17 November 1999

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


In recent years endoscopically controlled laser-induced thermal therapy (LITT) has been increasingly accepted as a minimally invasive method for palliation of advanced or recurrent head and neck or gastrointestinal cancer. Previous studies have shown that adjuvant chemotherapy can potentiate endoscopic laser thermal ablation of obstructing tumors leading to improved palliation in advanced cancer patients. Eight patients with recurrent head and neck tumors volunteered to enroll as part of an ongoing phase II LITT clinical trial, and also elected to be treated with systemic chemotherapy (cisplatin, 80 mg/m2) followed 24 h later by palliative laser thermal ablation. Laser treatments were repeated in patients with residual disease or recurrence for a total of 27 LITT sessions. Four of the 8 patients treated with laser thermal chemotherapy remained alive after a median follow-up of 12 months. Of the 12 tumor sites treated, complete responses were located in the oral cavity (3), oropharynx (1), hypopharynx (1), maxillary sinus (1), and median survival for these patients was 9.5 months. This initial experience with cisplatinum-based laser chemotherapy indicates both safety and therapeutic potential for palliation of advanced head and neck cancer but this must be confirmed by longer follow-up in a larger cohort of patients.