Prognostic factors for chemotherapy response and survival using combination chemotherapy as initial treatment of advanced head and neck squamous cell cancer

F. Cognetti, P. Pinnaro, E. M. Ruggeri, P. Carlini, A. Perrino, F. A. Impiombato, F. Calabresi, M. G. Chilelli, D. Giannarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Between May 1981 and December 1987, 152 consecutive patients with locally advanced and previously untreated head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) received two or three courses of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) prior to surgery and/or radiotherapy. Eighteen percent of patients achieved a complete response and 45% a partial response (PR), for an overall response rate of 63%. A variety of pretreatment patient and tumor characteristics were analyzed for both the tumor response to NAC and survival rate. Significantly higher CR rates were found in patients with a World Health Organization (WHO) performance status (PS) of 0 to 1 than in those patients with a PS of 2 (P = .03). Patients with stage III disease were significantly more likely to respond than those with stage IV (P = .006). Evaluation of all parameters through multivariate analysis identifies the tumor classification (P = .001) and the primary site (P = .006) as the most significant in predicting CR. The overall 5-year survival rate of the entire group of patients was 18% (median survival, 14.3 months). Analysis by PS (P = .001), stage (P = .002), and tumor (P = .001), and node (P = .01) classes showed significant differences. Patients achieving a CR after NAC had a significantly improved survival rate as compared with those with residual disease at assessment (P = .0003). With the multistep regression analysis, the tumor (P = .005) and node (P = .007) classifications, and the sex (P = .03) were significant factors, but CR (P = .0004) remained the most important and independent predictive factor. Randomized prospective trials are requested to clearly establish the role of NAC on survival rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)829-837
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Volume7
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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