Cisplatin, fluorouracil, and leucovorin induction chemotherapy followed by concurrent cisplatin chemoradiotherapy for organ preservation and cure in patients with advanced head and neck cancer: long-term follow-up.

The poor functional outcome in patients with advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) with surgery and radiation has led to alternative approaches to advanced disease. We conducted a phase II study of induction chemotherapy followed by concurrent chemoradiotherapy for organ preservation in patients with advanced resectable and unresectable (nasopharyngeal) tumors.
Forty-two patients with stage III to IV resectable HNSCC and nasopharyngeal tumors received induction chemotherapy with two courses of cisplatin (20 mg/m2/d continuous infusion [CI]), fluorouracil (800 mg/m2/d CI), and leucovorin (500 mg/m2/d CI; PFL) for 4 days followed by concurrent therapy with cisplatin (100 mg/m2/d on days 1 and 22) and approximately 70 Gy of external-beam radiotherapy.
Response to induction chemotherapy included partial response rate of 52% and complete response rate of 24%. The most common grade 3 or 4 toxicity was neutropenia (59%). After cisplatin chemoradiotherapy the complete response rate was 67%. Toxicities of cisplatin chemoradiotherapy consisted of grade 3 or 4 mucositis (79%) and neutropenia (51%). At a median follow-up of 71.5 months, 43% of the patients are still alive and disease-free. The 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) rate was 60%, and the 2- and 5-year overall survival (OS) rates were 67% and 52%, respectively. Three patients died of second primaries. Late complications of treatment included xerostomia and hoarseness. One patient had persistent dysphagia and required laser epiglotectomy 108 months after treatment.
Induction chemotherapy with PFL followed by concurrent cisplatin chemoradiotherapy is well tolerated and results in a good likelihood of organ preservation and excellent PFS and OS.
AuthorsA Psyrri, M Kwong, S DiStasio, L Lekakis, M Kassar, C Sasaki, L D Wilson, B G Haffty, Y H Son, D A Ross, P M Weinberger, G G Chung, D Zelterman, B A Burtness, D L Cooper
JournalJournal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (J Clin Oncol) Vol. 22 Issue 15 Pg. 3061-9 (Aug 1 2004) ISSN: 0732-183X [Print] United States
PMID15284256 (Publication Type: Clinical Trial, Clinical Trial, Phase II, Journal Article)
CopyrightCopyright 2004 American Society of Clinical Onocology
Chemical References
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cisplatin
  • Leucovorin
  • Fluorouracil
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents (administration & dosage)
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols (adverse effects, therapeutic use)
  • Brachytherapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell (drug therapy, mortality, radiotherapy, therapy)
  • Cisplatin (administration & dosage, adverse effects, therapeutic use)
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil (adverse effects, therapeutic use)
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms (drug therapy, mortality, radiotherapy, therapy)
  • Humans
  • Leucovorin (adverse effects, therapeutic use)
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Remission Induction
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome

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