Phase 1 trial of bevacizumab with concurrent chemoradiation therapy for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck with exploratory functional imaging of tumor hypoxia, proliferation, and perfusion

Matthew J. Nyflot*, Tim J. Kruser, Anne M. Traynor, Deepak Khuntia, David T. Yang, Gregory K. Hartig, Timothy M. McCulloch, Peggy A. Wiederholt, Lindell R. Gentry, Tien Hoang, Robert Jeraj, Paul M. Harari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose A phase 1 trial was completed to examine the safety and feasibility of combining bevacizumab with radiation and cisplatin in patients with locoregionally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) treated with curative intent. Additionally, we assessed the capacity of bevacizumab to induce an early tumor response as measured by a series of biological imaging studies. Methods and Materials All patients received a single induction dose of bevacizumab (15 mg/kg) delivered 3 weeks (±3 days) before the initiation of chemoradiation therapy. After the initial dose of bevacizumab, comprehensive head and neck chemoradiation therapy was delivered with curative intent to 70 Gy in 33 fractions with concurrent weekly cisplatin at 30 mg/m2 and bevacizumab every 3 weeks (weeks 1, 4, 7) with dose escalation from 5 to 10 to 15 mg/kg. All patients underwent experimental imaging with [18F]fluorothymidine positron emission tomography (FLT-PET) (proliferation), [61Cu]Cu-diacetyl-bis(N4-methylthiosemicarbazone) PET (Cu-ATSM-PET) (hypoxia), and dynamic contrast-enhanced computed tomography (DCE-CT) (perfusion) at 3 time points: before bevacizumab monotherapy, after bevacizumab monotherapy, and during the combined therapy course. Results Ten patients were enrolled. All had stage IV HNSCC, all achieved a complete response to treatment, and 9 of 10 remain alive, with a mean survival time of 61.3 months. All patients experienced grade 3 toxicity, but no dose-limiting toxicities or significant bleeding episodes were observed. Significant reductions were noted in tumor proliferation (FLT-PET), tumor hypoxia (Cu-ATSM-PET), and DCE-CT contrast enhancement after bevacizumab monotherapy, with further decreases in FLT-PET and Cu-ATSM-PET during the combined therapy course. Conclusions The incorporation of bevacizumab into comprehensive chemoradiation therapy regimens for patients with HNSCC appears safe and feasible. Experimental imaging demonstrates measureable changes in tumor proliferation, hypoxia, and perfusion after bevacizumab monotherapy and during chemoradiation therapy. These findings suggest opportunities to preview the clinical outcomes for individual patients and thereby design personalized therapy approaches in future trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)942-951
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Volume91
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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