Clinical decision pathway and management of locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: A multidisciplinary consensus in Asia-Pacific

Ye Guo*, Torahiko Nakashima, Byoung Chul Cho, Darren W.T. Lim, Muh Hwa Yang, Pei Jen Lou, June Corry, Jin Ching Lin, Guo Pei Zhu, Kyung Hwan Kim, Bin Zhang, Zhiming Li, Ruey Long Hong, Junice Yi Siu Ng, Ee Min Tan, Yan Ping Liu, Con Stylianou, Carmel Spiteri, Sandro Porceddu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To develop consensus on patient characteristics and disease-related factors considered in deciding treatment approaches for locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (LA-HNSCC) based on real-world treatment patterns in 4 territories in Asia-Pacific. Methods: A three-round modified Delphi involving a multidisciplinary panel of HN surgeons, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists was used. Of 41 panelists recruited, responses of 26 from Australia, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan were analyzed. All panelists had ≥five years’ experience managing LA-HNSCC patients and treated ≥15 patients with LA-HNSCC annually. Results: All statements on definitions of LA-HNSCC, treatment intolerance and cisplatin dosing reached consensus. 4 of 7 statements on unresectability, 2 of 4 on adjuvant chemoradiotherapy, 7 of 13 on induction chemotherapy, 1 of 8 on absolute contraindications and 7 of 11 on relative contraindications to high-dose cisplatin did not reach consensus. In all territories except Taiwan, high-dose cisplatin was preferred in definitive and adjuvant settings for patients with no contraindications to cisplatin; weekly cisplatin (40 mg/m2) preferred for patients with relative contraindications to high-dose cisplatin. For Taiwan, the main treatment option was weekly cisplatin. For patients with absolute contraindications to cisplatin, carboplatin ± 5-fluorouracil or radiotherapy alone were preferred alternatives in both definitive and adjuvant settings. Conclusion: This multidisciplinary consensus provides insights into management of LA-HNSCC in Asia-Pacific based on patient- and disease-related factors that guide selection of treatment modality and systemic treatment. Despite strong consensus on use of cisplatin-based regimens, areas of non-consensus showed that variability in practice exists where there is limited evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106657
JournalOral Oncology
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • Asia
  • Asia Pacific
  • Australia
  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Consensus
  • Delphi technique
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms*/therapy
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck
  • Treatment algorithms


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