Clinical outcomes of 53 patients with oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, treated from January, 2000 to December, 2008 by concurrent chemoradiotherapy of either CDDP or CDGP, plus 5-FU were investigated. Patients were treated with either CDDP (70 mg/m2) or CDGP (100 mg/m2) on day 1 of the chemotherapy regime, with 5-FU (700 mg/m2/day) as a continuous infusion for 5 days. Each regimen was administered as two courses in the first and final weeks of radiotherapy. Radiotherapy was administered at a daily dose of 2 Gy for five days a week, with patients receiving a total of 70 Gy by the end of seven weeks. The primary cancer was located in the oropharynx and hypopharynx in 21 and 32 patients, respectively. Twenty-six patients (49.1%) had stage IVA disease and 10 patients (18.9%) had overall stage I to II disease. Acute adverse events such as pharyngeal mucositis and leucopenia occurred in 49.1% and 43.4% of patients, respectively, and second round chemotherapy was not commenced in 56.6% of patients (n=30) due to significant adverse events. Mean weight loss following treatment was 4.1 kg. After a median follow-up of 30.0 months, 3-year overall survival was 53.0% for advanced carcinoma of the oropharynx and hypopharynx. Five-year overall survival was 46.4%. Patients receiving two courses of chemotherapy had an improved 5-year survival compared to patients receiving one course (67.0% vs 32.8%). Results indicate a significant benefit from two courses of chemotherapy. As such, minimizing the incidence of adverse effects and thereby reducing treatment discontinuation will likely improve overall treatment outcomes.