Concomitant infusional paclitaxel and fluorouracil, oral hydroxyurea, and hyperfractionated radiation for locally advanced squamous head and neck cancer

M. S. Kies, D. J. Haraf, F. Rosen, K. Stenson, M. List, B. Brockstein, T. Chung, B. B. Mittal, H. Pelzer, L. Portugal, A. Rademaker, R. Weichselbaum, E. E. Vokes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

137 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: To improve local disease control and survival with organ preservation, we conducted a phase II multi-institutional trial with a concomitant taxane-based chemotherapy and hyperfractionated radiation regimen. Patients and Methods: Sixty-four patients with locally advanced squamous cancers (stage IV, 98%; N2/3, 81%) were treated on an intensive regimen consisting of 5-day (120-hour) infusions of paclitaxel (20 mg/m2/d) and fluorouracil (600 mg/m2/d), oral hydroxyurea 500 mg every 12 hours for 11 doses, and radiation 1.5 Gy bid (T-FH2X). Chemoradiation was administered concomitantly on days 1 to 5 of each 14-day cycle. A full treatment course consisted of five cycles during a 10-week period to a total radiation dose of 72 to 75 Gy. Results: The median follow-up for the group is 34 months. At 3 years, progression-free survival is 63%, locoregional control is 86%, and systemic control is 79%; overall survival is 60%. Seventeen patients died of recurrent cancer, two died of second primary cancers, and four died of other causes. Side effects observed include anemia (22% required transfusion), leucopenia (34%, grade 3 to 4), and mucositis (84%, grade 3 to 4). Organ preservation principles were maintained. At 1 year posttreatment, 61% of patients had severe xerostomia and 47% had compromised swallowing. There was little disturbance of speech quality in 97% of patients at the same follow-up point. Conclusion: T-FH2X is a highly active and tolerable concomitant chemotherapy and hyperfractionated radiation regimen that induces sustained local tumor control and holds promise for improved survival with organ preservation in high-risk patients. Identification of less toxic therapy and improved distant disease control are needed. T-FH2X should be tested in a randomized trial and compared with a less intensive concomitant regimen that uses once-daily radiation fractionation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1961-1969
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Volume19
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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