Future directions in the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: the role of UFT. Oncology (Williston Park, N.Y.) Colevas, A. D. 1997; 11 (9): 86-89


Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck is a potentially curable neoplasm. Historically, the standard approach to treatment has been either surgery or radiation therapy, or a combination of the two. Over the past two decades, the role of chemotherapy in the curative approach to head and neck cancer has been evolving. Drugs like fluorouracil (5-FU), cisplatin (Platinol), methotrexate, paclitaxel (Taxol), docetaxel (Taxotere), and bleomycin (Blenoxane) have been investigated in both the palliative and curative settings. Multiple combination regimens have been used as neoadjuvant or induction regimens, but to date the original combination of cisplatin and fluorouracil is still the standard of therapy. UFT, a combination of uracil and tegafur (a fluorinated pyridine analogue), has been available in Japan as an oral form of treatment for squamous cell head and neck cancers. This article describes the rationale behind the use of UFT as an agent for the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck as well as data from ongoing investigations exploring its use in this disease.

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