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May 1986

Prostaglandin Inhibitor and Radiotherapy in Advanced Head and Neck Cancers

Author Affiliations

From the Schools of Medicine (Drs Pillsbury and Rosenman) and Dentistry (Dr Webster), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1986;112(5):552-553. doi:10.1001/archotol.1986.03780050076013

• Radiotherapy is the usual mode of treatment for unresectable head and neck cancer. To improve cure rates, extend survival, and reduce morbidity, we use accelerated hyperfractionation radiotherapy and an adjuvant drug to inhibit prostaglandin synthesis. In this study, 19 patients received 300 rad/day of radiotherapy in two equally divided doses to a total dose averaging 6,200 rad. Either indomethacin, 25 mg, or placebo was given four times a day in a double-blind fashion during therapy. Radiation mucositis was graded as 0 to 4+; pain, nutritional status, and tumor status were monitored daily and recorded biweekly. Evaluation of the data showed delayed mucositis in the experimental group for grades 1 to 3, with a significant difference at grade 3 compared with controls. The significance of a long-term comparison of cure rates would be doubtful considering the heterogeneity of the primary sites and regional disease in this group coupled with the small size of our study.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1986;112:552-553)