Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

Indication for Fluorouracil

Population group: Suitable for both men and women, only adults (18 years old or older)

Fluorouracil is indicated in the treatment of:

  • inoperable locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck in previously untreated patients
  • locally recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

For this indication, competent medicine agencies globally authorize below treatments:

600-1,200 mg/m²

Route of admnistration


Defined daily dose

600 - 1,200 mg per m² of body surface area (BSA)

Dosage regimen

From 600 To 1,200 mg per m² of body surface area (BSA) once every day

Detailed description

5-fluorouracil is preferably used in combination with cisplatin or carboplatin. Dose varies between 600-1,200 mg/m² body surface per day as continuous intravenous infusion over several days and repeated cyclically depending upon regimen.

Concerning administration of 5-fluorouracil/cisplatin or carboplatin in combination with radiotherapy, please refer to the literature.

Active ingredient

Fluorouracil is an antineoplastic anti-metabolite. Anti-metabolites masquerade as purine or pyrimidine – which become the building blocks of DNA. They prevent these substances from becoming incorporated into DNA during the “S” phase (of the cell cycle), stopping normal development and division. Fluorouracil blocks an enzyme which converts the cytosine nucleotide into the deoxy derivative. In addition, DNA synthesis is further inhibited because Fluorouracil blocks the incorporation of the thymidine nucleotide into the DNA strand. Fluorouracil is used for the topical treatment of multiple actinic or solar keratoses. In the 5% strength it is also useful in the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinomas when conventional methods are impractical, such as with multiple lesions or difficult treatment sites. Fluorouracil injection is indicated in the palliative management of some types of cancer, including colon, esophageal, gastric, rectum, breast, biliary tract, stomach, head and neck, cervical, pancreas, renal cell, and carcinoid.

Read more about Fluorouracil

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