The Role of Cytotoxic Drugs in the Surgical Management of Head and Neck Malignancies

Mr Peter Clifford delivered his Semon Lecture on the 2nd of November 1978 at the Royal Society of Medicine. He discusses the use of chemotherapy to treat head and neck cancers, noting that further surgery and radiotherapy will not improve results, but immunotherapy and chemotherapy are prudent areas of investigation. Clifford then moves on to give the history and general mode of action of chemotherapy, with case studies, and urges cooperation with other disciplines moving forwards.

Journal article version of the lecture

Peter Clifford was born in Ireland in 1921. While his career was hugely varied both in the locations in which he practiced and also the type of work he did, he was mainly remembered for his work with cancer. He was a pioneer in cancer treatment due to his appreciation of the beneficial cumulative effect of using both chemotherapy and radiotherapy together. Clifford was also innovative in his use of nitrogen mustard to treat nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a treatment he developed during his time in East Africa.


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