Concurrent radiotherapy with carboplatin and cetuximab for the treatment of medically compromised patients with locoregionally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Kunal Saigal, Edgardo S. Santos, Khaled Tolba, Deukwoo Kwon, Nagy Elsayyad, Matthew C. Abramowitz, Amar Mandalia, Michael Andrew Samuels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Cetuximab (Cx) + radiation therapy (RT) is well-tolerated and has improved survival in patients (pts) with locoregionally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (LA-HNSCC). However, its efficacy when compared to HD-DDP + RT has been questioned. At our institution, low-dose weekly carboplatin is added to Cx + RT for patients unsuitable for HD-DDP. Methods: We reviewed records of 16 patients with LA-HNSCC treated with definitive Cx + carboplatin + RT at the University of Miami from 2007 to 2011. Median follow-up was 24 months (range: 1-69 months). Results: Median age: 71.5 years (range: 57-90 years); 15 male, 1 female. ECOG PS 0 = 15, 1 = 1. TNM staging was: T1 = 1, T2 = 5, T3 = 8, T4 = 2; N stage: N0 = 8, N1 = 5, N2a = 2, N2b = 1. All patients received weekly carboplatin (AUC 1.5-2), Cx given conventionally and daily conventionally fractionated RT. Median total weeks of concurrent systemic therapy = 7 (range: 3-8 weeks). RT was delivered to a median total dose of 70 Gy (range 30-74 Gy). Of the 15 evaluable patients, there were: 12 CR, 2 PR, and 1 PD. There were three local in-field failures, two regional failures, and three distant failures. At last follow-up, 8/15 patients remained with NED. Three-year locoregional recurrence was 28.3% (95% CI: 7.7-53.9%). Mean percentage of weight loss was 14% (range: 6-26%). Two patients required systemic therapy dose reduction. Three patients experienced a treatment delay and three did not finish RT as planned including a patient who received only 30 Gy due to death secondary to MI during treatment. Conclusion: In this small retrospective series, carboplatin/Cx/RT was well-tolerated and efficacious in patients unsuitable for HD-DDP having LA-HNSCC. Acute toxicities were similar to Cx + RT, likely due to the non-overlapping toxicity profiles of the two systemic agents. We hypothesize that the addition of a well-tolerated cytotoxic chemotherapy agent may improve the therapeutic ratio of Cx + RT in patients who are poor candidates for more aggressive therapies and warrants evaluation in a prospective manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number165
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Volume4 JUN
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Carboplatin
  • Cetuximab
  • Head
  • Neck
  • Radiation
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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