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In an attempt to improve the dismal prognosis for patients with advanced cancer involving the temporal bone, a regional chemotherapy technique was piloted as part of the multimodality therapy for such patients. Rapid supradose cisplatin infusions selectively delivered to the lesion were given to 14 patients with carcinoma involving the temporal bone. Concurrent systemic cisplatin neutralization was achieved with sodium thiosulfate which permitted the use of cisplatin dose intensity regimens equivalent to fivefold the conventional amount. Four patients received chemotherapy alone, four had concomitant irradiation, and six had subsequent irradiation and/or temporal bone surgery. All patients tolerated the chemotherapy without significant complications or toxicity.
All three of the patients with previously untreated disease responded to chemotherapy (2 Crs, 1 PR); three of the seven patients with recurrent disease responded to chemotherapy; and all four patients treated with chemoradiation had a complete response (including one patient with recurrent disease). The median follow-up time was 19 months (range, 5 to 63 months). Nine of the 14 patients are alive, including the 4 who were treated with targeted chemoradiation.
The use of targeted high-dose chemotherapy for patients with malignant skull base lesions offers hope for improved outcome, particularly when this regimen is given simultaneously with radiation.