Final results of a multi-institutional phase II trial of reirradiation with concurrent weekly cisplatin and cetuximab for recurrent or second primary squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

M. J. Awan, L. Nedzi, D. Wang, V. Tumati, B. Sumer, X. J. Xie, I. Smith, J. Truelson, R. Hughes, L. L. Myers, P. Lavertu, S. Wong, Min Yao

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8 Scopus citations


Background: The optimal regimen of chemotherapy and reirradiation (re-XRT) for recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is controversial. We report the final outcomes of a multicenter phase II trial evaluating cetuximab and cisplatin-based chemotherapy concurrent with re-XRT for patients with recurrent HNSCC. Materials and methods: Patients with unresectable recurrent disease or positive margins after salvage surgery arising within a previously irradiated field with KPS≥70 were eligible for this trial. Cetuximab 400 mg/m2 was delivered as a loading dose in week 1 followed by weekly cetuximab 250 mg/m2 and cisplatin 30 mg/m2 concurrent with 6 weeks of intensity-modulated radiotherapy to a dose of 60-66 Gy in 30 daily fractions. Patients who previously received both concurrent cetuximab and cisplatin with radiation or who received radiotherapy less than 6 months prior were ineligible. Results: From 2009 to 2013, 48 patients enrolled on this trial, 2 did not receive any protocol treatment. Of the remaining 46 patients, 34 were male and 12 female, with a median age of 62 years (range 36-85). Treatment was feasible and only 1 patient did not complete the treatment course. Common grade 3 or higher acute toxicities were lymphopenia (46%), pain (22%), dysphagia (13%), radiation dermatitis (13%), mucositis (11%) and anorexia (11%). There were no grade 5 acute toxicities. Eight grade 3 late toxicities were observed, four of which were swallowing related. With a median follow-up of 1.38 years, the 1-year overall survival (OS) was 60.4% and 1-year recurrence-free survival was 34.1%. On univariate analysis, OS was significantly improved with young age (P=0.01). OS was not associated with radiation dose, surgery before re-XRT or interval from prior XRT. Conclusions: Concurrent cisplatin and cetuximab with re-XRT is feasible and offers good treatment outcomes for patients with high-risk features. Younger patients had significantly improved OS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)998-1003
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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