Turn to Taxotere for head and neck cancer?

Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston report that adding the anticancer agent Taxotere (docetaxel) to a standard chemotherapy regimen dramatically improved response rates in head and neck cancers.

In fact, 100% of patients studied had a "response" to the regimen — defined by the researchers as a 50% or greater reduction in measurable tumor size — with 11 of the patients experiencing a complete disappearance of all clinical and radiological signs of malignancy. Side effects of the regimen include febrile neutropenia and concentration defects in the kidneys. The other drugs used in the regimen were cisplatin, 5-fluorouracil, and leucovorin.

Most head and neck cancers occur in elderly men and, overall, represent only a small number of total malignancies. They include tumors of the mouth, nasal passages, and throat.