Laryngeal cancer is a common head and neck cancer. Despite advances in treatment, improvement in survival and quality of life of patients still remains a challenge. Chemotherapy has become more and more important since this treatment is able to preserve laryngeal function. There is increasing evidence showing that many chemotherapeutic agents kill laryngeal tumor cells via apoptotic mechanisms. The balance between anti-apoptotic molecules and pro-apoptotic ones plays a critical role in determining the sensitivity of the tumor cells to chemotherapy. The commonly used chemotherapeutic agents for laryngeal cancer include cisplatin, 5-fluorouracil and paclitaxel. These three agents may target common apoptotic molecules, but more importantly they have their own particular targets. Systemically analysis of these targets will not only help to optimize the treatment but also provide a rationale for the best combination of two or more agents for the chemotherapy of laryngeal cancer.
Keywords: Laryngeal cancer, apoptosis, cisplatin, 5-fluorouracil, paclitaxel
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