Cisplatin, bleomycin, and methotrexate (PBM) chemotherapy in locally advanced and metastatic head and neck cancer

B. Uziely, T. Peretz, A. Sulkes, E. Feigin, R. Isacson, S. Biran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Twenty‐two patients with locally advanced or metastatic head and neck tumors received a total of 84 courses of a combination of cisplatin, bleomycin, and Methotrexate (PBM) for a median of four courses per patient (range, 1‐7). Among these 22 patients there were four patients (18%) who achieved complete remission (CR) and 13 patients (60%) who had a partial remission (PR). The overall remission rate (CR + PR) thus reached 78%; five patients (22%) progressed while on therapy. The mean duration of objective response (CR + PR) was 8 months; CR lasted a median of 18 months (range, 2‐48). Survival was not influenced by tumor histology or by previous surgery. The presence of locoregional disease did adversely affect survival from the onset of chemotherapy (P = 0.1). The rate of survival was also affected by primary tumor site; patients with nasopharyngeal primaries survived longer than all other patients (22 vs. 11 months, P = 0.06). Toxicity to chemotherapy consisted mainly of nausea and vomiting and stomatitis. Three patients developed fever while leukopenic. One patient experienced irreversible renal damage, and another suffered from bleomycin‐induced pulmonary fibrosis. The high response rate obtained in our group of patients did not have a substantial impact on overall survival. Aggressive, multimodality approaches should be considered in the treatment of these patients when possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-238
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • nasopharyngeal cancer
  • squamous cell cancer
  • systemic chemotherapy


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