We observed a 45% response rate from the combination of VP-16, bleomycin, and cisplatin among 20 patients with nonsquamous cell head and neck cancer. The regressions were partial and typically occurred within 1 to 2 months of commencing treatment. The median response duration for responding patients was 3 months. Median survival of responders was 8 months, similar to that of all study participants. Gastrointestinal and hematologic sequelae were predictable and manageable. This regimen may provide some transient palliation for selected patients with these neoplasms, but no substantive impact on survival.
Division of Medical Oncology (E.T.C., A.J.S., R.L.R.) and Cancer Center Statistics (D.J.S.), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, U.S.A.