Docetaxel and cisplatin in locally advanced or metastatic squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck: A phase II study of the Southern Italy Cooperative Oncology Group (SICOG)

F. Caponigro, E. Massa, L. Manzione, G. Rosati, M. Biglietto, L. D. Lucia, C. Sguotti, P. Sganga, A. Avallone, P. Comella, G. Mantovani, G. Comella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Docetaxel is one of the most promising new drugs against squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN), while cisplatin is one of the most active single agents. A phase I study has shown the feasibility of the combination of the two drugs, and activity in SCCHN has been seen. Patients and methods: Patients with locally advanced, inoperable, or metastatic SCCHN, never pretreated with radiotherapy or chemotherapy, received three courses of docetaxel 75 mg/m2 and cisplatin 100 mg/m2, every three weeks. Thereafter, responsive metastatic patients received additional chemotherapy, while patients with locally advanced disease underwent radiation therapy. Results: Forty-six patients (forty-five with locally advanced, one with metastatic disease) were entered into the study. Ten patients did not complete three courses of chemotherapy because of early death; one patient discontinued treatment after one course. Twenty-one objective responses were observed (46%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 31%-60%), including five complete responses (11%) and sixteen partial responses (35%). Following induction chemotherapy plus radiation therapy, 9 of 21 evaluable patients were rendered disease free, while 8 additional patients had a partial response. After a median following of 18 months, the median duration of response was 12 months, (range 3-25+), and the median overall survival was 11 months. Six early deaths were considered possibly treatment-related (sepsis following grade 4 neutropenia in two cases, hypovolemic shock following severe diarrhea in four cases). Neutropenia was the most severe toxicity (grade 3-4 in 28 patients, median duration 4 days); diarrhea and vomiting were the most troublesome non-haematologic toxicities (grade 4 in 4 and 3 patients, respectively). Conclusions: The combination of docetaxel and cisplatin is active in SCCHN, but toxicity is substantial. This schedule does not appear to offer any advantage compared with conventional regimens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-202
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Cisplatin
  • Docetaxel
  • Squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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