Background: Cetuximab (CET) is a potent inhibitor of the epidermal growth factor receptor and has been shown to have activity in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). We conducted a single-arm phase II trial of a combination therapy comprising cisplatin (CIS), CET and hyperfractionated accelerated radiotherapy (HART). Patients and methods: Patients with UICC stage III or IVA/B, M0 SCCHN were enrolled and treated with an initial dose of CET (400 mg/m2) and then with a weekly dosage of 250 mg/m2 during HART. HART was started with a prescribed dosage of 2.0 Gy per day for 3 weeks, followed by 1.4 Gy twice daily to a total dose of 70.6 Gy to the gross tumour volume. CIS (40 mg/m2) was administered weekly (days 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and 36). The primary objective of the phase II study was to determine the 2‑year progression-free survival (PFS). Results: Between November 2007 and November 2010, a total of 74 patients were enrolled in the study, of whom 65 were evaluable (83% were men). Median age was 56 years (range 37–69 years). An Oropharyngeal primary tumour was diagnosed in 49%, T4a,b in 65% and N2/3 in 96% of the patients. Of these patients, 85% were smokers or ex-smokers. Complete remission (CR) was observed in 23 patients (35%). The most common toxicity grade was ≥3, including mucositis (58%) and dysphagia (52%). The 2‑ and 5‑year overall survival rates were 64 and 41%, the 2‑ and 5‑year PFS rates were 45 and 32%, and the 2‑ and 5‑year locoregional control rates were 47 and 33%, respectively. Conclusion: The combination of weekly CIS with HART plus CET is a feasible regimen for these unfavourable smoking-induced cancers. However, the parallel US study (RTOG 0522) showed no advantage of the enhanced triple therapy compared to chemoradiotherapy alone.
|Translated title of the contribution||Hyperfractionated accelerated radiation therapy plus cetuximab plus cisplatin chemotherapy in locally advanced inoperable squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: Final 5‑year results of a phase II study|
|Journal||Strahlentherapie und Onkologie|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 01.09.2017|