Phase II study of esorubicin (4′ -deoxydoxorubicin) in locally advanced or metastatic head and neck carcinoma

Sergio Frustaci, Giampietro Gasparini, Andrea Veronesi, Umberto Tirelli, Maria Adele Pacciarini, Diana Crivellari, Vittorina Zagonel, Silvio Monfardini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sixteen patients with locally advanced or metastatic head and neck cancer were treated with esorubicin (4t'-deoxydoxorubicin) at a dose of 30-35 mg/m2 i.v. every 3 weeks. One patient was lost to the follow up after one cycle, whereas in the 15 evaluable cases a total of 34 courses were administered (median per patient: 2, range: 1-6). Pretreatment for parameter lesions consisted of radiotherapy in 5, chemotherapy in 3 and both treatments in 1 patients respectively. Overall, one partial response, one stable disease and 13 progressions were documented. Severe (grade 3 and 4) leukopenia, thrombocytopenia and anemia were noted in 3, 1 and 1 patients respectively. The only patient developing leukopenia and thrombocytopenia of grade 4 subsequently died because of pneumonia. On the other hand, non-hematologic toxicity was generally mild. At this dose and schedule, esorubicin demonstrated an activity less than 20% in head and neck cancer and therefore, no further evaluation is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-309
Number of pages3
JournalInvestigational New Drugs
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1987


  • esorubicin
  • head and neck cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Molecular Medicine


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