A trial of TPF chemotherapy before surgery and radiotherapy for locally advanced head and neck cancer (TITAN)

Cancer type:

Head and neck cancers
Laryngeal cancer
Mouth (oral) cancer
Nasal and paranasal sinus cancer




Phase 3

This trial looked at chemotherapy before surgery and radiotherapy for people who have squamous cell cancer Open a glossary item of the head and neck. This includes cancer that started in the mouth, nose, sinuses, throat or voice box (larynx). This trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.

If you have head and neck cancer that has grown into surrounding body tissues (locally advanced cancer Open a glossary item), you usually have surgery followed by either radiotherapy or a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy (chemoradiation Open a glossary item). This is standard treatment Open a glossary item.

But sometimes the cancer will come back and doctors are looking for ways to improve treatment. In this trial, they looked at chemotherapy before surgery. This is called induction chemotherapy. It is a combination of 3 drugs called docetaxel, cisplatin and fluorouracil. This combination of drugs is also known as TPF. We have information about TPF.

We know from research that TPF can shrink head and neck cancers. But we don’t know if having this type of chemotherapy before surgery makes a difference to the long term outcome.

The aim of the trial was to see if having induction chemotherapy before standard treatment helped people with locally advanced squamous cell cancer of the head and neck.

Summary of results

This was only a feasibility study, there won’t be any results.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Mr Richard Shaw

Supported by

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University of Liverpool

Other information

This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/10/013.

We have more information about the work of Dr Richard Shaw.

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Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 4543

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials in the UK last year.

Last reviewed:

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