Two hundred and twenty-one cases of epidermoid carcinoma of the pharynx diagnosed between 1965 and 1984 were analysed. Fifty-seven per cent of the carcinomas were poorly differentiated and 57% of the patients had stage IV disease; 65% had lymph node metastases at the time of diagnosis. Radiotherapy was the primary treatment. Between 1977 and 1979, preirradiation chemotherapy was used and from 1979 the effect of the radiosensitizer misonidazole was investigated in split-course radiotherapy. Loco-regional failure occurred in 60% after primary treatment. No changes in treatment results were observed during four consecutive 5-year periods. The five-year corrected actuarial survival rate in the whole series was 33%. It is concluded that the treatment results are still unsatisfactory, and that chemotherapy, optimized radiotherapy, and radiosensitizers as used in the present series did not seem to improve the results. Alcohol and tobacco restriction is emphasized for prevention.
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