gms | German Medical Science

27th German Cancer Congress Berlin 2006

German Cancer Society (Frankfurt/M.)

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

Late toxicities in head and neck cancer patients. Influence of cytoprotection ?

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Jens Büntzel - Südharzkrankenhaus, Nordhausen, Deutschland
  • Michael Glatzel - Zentralklinikum, Suhl
  • Dietmar Fröhlich - Zentralklinikum, Suhl
  • Jürgen Gäbert - Südharzkrankenhaus, Nordhausen
  • Oliver Micke - AK Trace Elements and Electrolytes in Oncology (AKTE)
  • Ralph Mücke - AK Trace Elements and Electrolytes in Oncology (AKTE)
  • Klaus Kisters - AK Trace Elements and Electrolytes in Oncology (AKTE)
  • Klaus Schönekaes - AK Trace Elements and Electrolytes in Oncology (AKTE)
  • Frank Bruns - AK Trace Elements and Electrolytes in Oncology (AKTE)

27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocPO248

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: March 20, 2006

© 2006 Büntzel et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: We analyzed the late toxicities due to multimodal therapy of advanced head and neck cancers. The impact of cytoprotection with amifostine is the specific objective of this report.

Methods: We included851consultations (233 persons, 39 felmale, 194 male, mean age 60,9 +/- 9,9 years) with head and neck cancer into this prospective study. 458/851 had received amifostine before radio(chemo)therapy,393 control subjects had not got any kind of cytoprotection before irradiation. A primary radiochemotherapy was performed in283 patients, an adjuvant radiation was administered in568 patients. The follow-up examination was done at our out-door departmentsat median 643days (range 69-4468) after the primary therapy.

Results: Late xerostomia was seen in 770(851 patients. Altered taste was reported by 284/851. During the first year both reactions weresignificantly reduced (Xerostomia p=0,046, loss of taste p=0,04)by amifostine support in basic treatment.Fibrotic tissue reactions (e.g. cervical esophageal stenosis)were registered in 174/851 patients.Interstitial lymph edema occured in 412/851 subjects. No improvement was observed due to cytoprotection. Secondary symptoms like posttreatment pain (107 pts.) or dysphagia (670 pts.) were also reduced signicantly.

Conclusions: The administration of amifostine has reduced selected toxicities (xerostomia, loss of taste) during the first year. This transient effectwas not seen in typical longtimetoxicities as lymphedema and fibrotic tissue reactions.