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Laser-induced thermal therapy and cisplatin for recurrent head and neck cancer: A case characterized by an unusually long disease-free survival

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November 1, 2009
by Jayne Joo, MD, Joel A. Sercarz, MD, Ana Amélia Paolini, PhD, Dan J. Castro, MD, and Marcos B. Paiva, MD, PhD


Recurrent squamous cell carcinoma after major surgery and microvascular reconstruction with a free-flap transfer is difficult to handle via conventional treatment methods. Based on our experience with laser-induced thermal therapy for recurrent head and neck tumors, we explored an aggressive treatment protocol using laser thermal ablation with concurrent cisplatin chemotherapy as a minimally invasive option for the treatment of a patient with recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the neck who had previously undergone a reconstructive free-flap transfer. Because of the very favorable outcome we observed in this patient with this combined treatment modality, we report this case, and we review some aspects of the treatment proposed. The remarkable survival of this patient suggests that the combination of laser-induced thermal therapy and chemotherapy warrants further investigation as an alternate treatment for patients with recurrent head and neck cancer.

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