Surgery beats chemotherapy for tongue cancer, U-M study finds

EurekAlert!, 01/03/2014
Patients with tongue cancer who started their treatment with a course of chemotherapy fared significantly worse than patients who received surgery first, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. This is contrary to protocols for larynx cancer, in which a single dose of chemotherapy helps determine which patients fare better with chemotherapy and radiation and which patients should elect for surgery. In larynx cancer, this approach, which was pioneered and extensively researched at U–M, has led to better patient survival and functional outcomes. But this new study, which appears in JAMA Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, describes a clear failure.