A phase II study of carboplatin and paclitaxel for recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer

Daris Ferrari, Jessica Fiore, Carla Codecà, Giuseppe Di Maria, Samuela Bozzoni, Veronica Bordin, Sarah Caldiera, Andrea Luciani, Sabrina Zonato, Irene Floriani, Paolo Foa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to investigate the activity and safety of a regimen containing carboplatin and paclitaxel in patients affected by recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer. Eligible patients were treated with a 3-week combination of paclitaxel 175 mg/m 2 and carboplatin area under the concentration time curve 5 mg/ml/min for a maximum of four cycles. A total of 27 patients entered the study. One patient (3.7%) had a complete response, whereas six patients (22.2%) obtained a partial response. Stable disease was observed in seven patients (25.9%). The disease control rate was 51.8% (95% confidence interval: 32.0-71.3), whereas overall response rate was 25.9% (95% confidence interval: 11.1-46.3). The median overall survival was 8.0 months (range: 2-27), with a 1-year survival of 30.5%. The median progression-free survival was 1.0 month (range: 0-14). Treatment-related deaths or episodes of neutropenic fever were not registered. Grades 3-4 neutropenia was observed in two patients (7.4%), grades 3-4 anaemia and thrombocytopenia in four (14.8%) and one (3.7%) patients, respectively. Nine patients (33.3%) experienced grades 1-2 and one patient (3.7%) grade 3 peripheral neuropathy. The combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel is safe and moderately effective for the treatment of recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-190
Number of pages6
JournalAnti-Cancer Drugs
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • Carboplatin
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Paclitaxel
  • Second-line chemotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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