The purpose of this study was to evaluate pharmacokinetic parameters, efficacy, and toxicity of a combination of docetaxel (DTX) and vinorelbine (VNB) in recurrent heavily pretreated squamous cell head and neck cancer. Twenty-nine patients previously treated with concomitant chemoradiotherapy (n = 14), surgery plus radiotherapy (n = 13), surgery + concomitant chemoradiotherapy (n = 1) and radiotherapy alone (n = 1) were enrolled; 9 patients had received 1 or more courses of palliative chemotherapy. Twenty-one patients had a local-regional recurrence, and 8 patients had metastases. The doses were 80 mg/m2 for DTX and 20 mg/m2 for VNB on day 1 every 21 days for a maximum of 6 cycles. Pharmacokinetic evaluations were performed on 24 patients; in a group of 12 patients, VNB administration immediately followed DTX infusion (schedule A), and in 12 patients VNB administration was immediately followed by DTX infusion (schedule B). Twenty-nine patients received a total of 137 cycles (median per patient, 5). Neutropenia was the most frequent and severe side effect (grade IV in 79%; grade III in 21%). Grade IV (7%) and III (14%) infections were observed in the first 12 patients; ciprofloxacin prophylaxis in the following 17 patients reduced the severe toxicity to 0%. The overall response rate was 49%, which included 3 of 29 complete responses (10%) and II of 29 partial responses (38%). Median complete and partial response durations were 20+ and 5.5 months, respectively. Overall median survival was 10 months (range, 2-30+). The mean values of area under the curve, mean residence time (MRT), and Cmax of VNB were significantly lower for schedule A than for schedule B. The mean values of VNB clearance were significantly higher for schedule A than for schedule B. Neutrophil count at the nadir was much lower for patients receiving schedule B. The DTX-VNB combination is effective in heavily pretreated patients with a short-lasting manageable toxicity. Pharmacokinetic evaluations suggested that the sequence DTX → VNB is safer than the sequence VNB → DTX.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||American Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2003|
- Head and neck cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research