European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990) vol:38 issue:5 pages:667-73
A randomised phase II trial was initiated to explore the feasibility of concomitant cisplatin and radiotherapy with conventional fractionation (CF) or multiple fractions per day (MFD) for patients with locally advanced head and neck malignancies. The MFD schedule was designed to achieve higher tumour concentrations of cisplatin at the time of irradiation by reducing the number of radiation treatment weeks from 7 to 3, allowing recovery from side-effects of both irradiation and cystostatic drugs during the rest periods, while keeping the same total dose and overall treatment time. Patients were randomised between a conventional fractionation scheme (CF) of 70 Gy in 7 weeks with 2 Gy per fraction with a daily dose of 6 mg/m(2) cisplatin and a modified fractionation scheme (MFD) delivering three fractions of 1.6 Gy per day, in weeks 1, 4 and 7, keeping the same overall treatment time and total dose. In the modified treatment regime, a daily dose of 10 mg/m(2) cisplatin was administered. 53 patients were entered in this trial and radiotherapy was given according to the schedule to all patients in both treatment arms. Cisplatin was given during the whole course of radiotherapy to only one quarter of the patients in the CF arm, stopping mostly after 5-6 weeks due to bone marrow depression and kidney toxicity, while patients in the MFD arm received it according to schedule. No difference was observed in acute and late toxicity in both treatment arms, while a similar or even better tumour response was obtained with MFD. A 67% higher daily dose of cisplatin concomitant with irradiation could be given in a 3-week multiple fractionation per day schedule, as opposed to the cisplatin given in the conventional daily fractionation schedule of 7 weeks with the same total radiation dose. Similar acute and late toxicities were seen in both treatment arms.