A pilot trial of paclitaxel, carboplatin, and concurrent radiotherapy for unresectable squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

B. Conley, M. Jacobs, M. Suntharalingam, D. Zacharski, R. A. Ord, W. Gray, J. Aisner

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20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Combined chemoradiotherapy is superior to radiotherapy alone for stage III and IV squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, and concurrent use of both offers the advantage of synergistic interactions. Our prior trial demonstrated the ease and convenience of administering carboplatin during radiotherapy. Since paclitaxel (Taxol; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Princeton, NJ) has activity in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck and can act synergistically with both radiotherapy and platinum drugs, we initially added paclitaxel at 45 mg/m2/wk to carboplatin given at 100 mg/m2 during radiotherapy given at conventional fractions. The initial dose of paclitaxel was subsequently reduced to 40 mg/m2/wk. Thirteen of 18 patients entered so far have sufficient follow-up data; 12 are assessable for toxicity and II are assessable for response. One died early of progressive disease, two achieved a complete response, six achieved a partial response, and two bad stable disease. Toxicities have so far been manageable for the 76 weekly doses administered. Chemotherapy dose reduction was needed in 10 patients. For the planned 100 doses of chemotherapy, 53 (53%) were administered as planned, 23 (23%) were reduced, and 24 (24%) were withheld due to neutropenia or mucositis. There were no toxic deaths, and no patient stopped therapy for toxicity. Paclitaxel/carboplatin can be administered during radiotherapy for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck with acceptable toxicities, and further accrual is needed to evaluate the effect of this combination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S2-78-S2-80
JournalSeminars in oncology
Volume24
Issue number1 SUPPL. 2
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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