Background: The optimal regimen of chemotherapy and reirradiation (re-XRT) for recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is controversial. We report the final outcomes of a multicenter phase II trial evaluating cetuximab and cisplatin-based chemotherapy concurrent with re-XRT for patients with recurrent HNSCC. Materials and methods: Patients with unresectable recurrent disease or positive margins after salvage surgery arising within a previously irradiated field with KPS≥70 were eligible for this trial. Cetuximab 400 mg/m2 was delivered as a loading dose in week 1 followed by weekly cetuximab 250 mg/m2 and cisplatin 30 mg/m2 concurrent with 6 weeks of intensity-modulated radiotherapy to a dose of 60-66 Gy in 30 daily fractions. Patients who previously received both concurrent cetuximab and cisplatin with radiation or who received radiotherapy less than 6 months prior were ineligible. Results: From 2009 to 2013, 48 patients enrolled on this trial, 2 did not receive any protocol treatment. Of the remaining 46 patients, 34 were male and 12 female, with a median age of 62 years (range 36-85). Treatment was feasible and only 1 patient did not complete the treatment course. Common grade 3 or higher acute toxicities were lymphopenia (46%), pain (22%), dysphagia (13%), radiation dermatitis (13%), mucositis (11%) and anorexia (11%). There were no grade 5 acute toxicities. Eight grade 3 late toxicities were observed, four of which were swallowing related. With a median follow-up of 1.38 years, the 1-year overall survival (OS) was 60.4% and 1-year recurrence-free survival was 34.1%. On univariate analysis, OS was significantly improved with young age (P=0.01). OS was not associated with radiation dose, surgery before re-XRT or interval from prior XRT. Conclusions: Concurrent cisplatin and cetuximab with re-XRT is feasible and offers good treatment outcomes for patients with high-risk features. Younger patients had significantly improved OS.
- Head and neck cancer
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