Squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue in a patient with Fanconi anemia treated with radiotherapy and concurrent cetuximab: A case report and review of the literature

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Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare autosomal recessive genetic disorder characterized by bone marrow failure and increased risk of cancers including acute myelogenous leukemia and various solid tumors, especially head and neck cancer. Management of head and neck cancer in the setting of FA is complicated by pancytopenia, poor tolerance of chemotherapy, and potentially increased radiosensitivity. There are limited reports on tolerance of radiotherapy (RT) in patients with FA.


We report a case of a patient with FA who presented with a small oral tongue cancer that was excised. He rapidly developed extensive locoregional recurrence and underwent surgical resection followed by postoperative RT with concurrent cetuximab.


Both RT and cetuximab were well tolerated with manageable toxicities. Unfortunately, the patient died of early locoregional disease progression.


RT with concurrent cetuximab was well tolerated and may be an appropriate option in patients with FA. However, many patients have a poor prognosis due to aggressive disease. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 35: E292–E298, 2013

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