Survival in patients with recurrent squamous cell head and neck carcinoma treated with bio-chemotherapy

Mario Airoldi, Antonella De Stefani, Sara Marchionatti, Fulvia Pedani, Pietro Gabriele, Riccardo Ragona, Giorgio Cortesina, Cesare Bumma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. We have shown that rIL-2 administration in recurrent head and neck cancers induces a tumor-specific T-lymphocyte reactivity and tumor regression; in a pilot study we have shown a safe and effective administration of rIL2 after cisplatin + 5-fluorouracil. Long-term results are not known. Methods. Thirty patients with recurrent/persistent head and neck cancer were treated with cisplatin (100 mg/m2) d.1.5-fluorouracil (1 gr/m2/d c.i. 96 h), and SQ rIL-2 (4.5 M IU day 8 to 12 and 15 to 19) every 3 weeks. Results. The overall response rate was 53.3% (95% Cl; 34.4-72.3%): 26.6% complete response (CR) (8 patients) and 26.6% partial response (PR) (8 patients); 6 patients had SD (20%), 8 had PD (26.6%). The median follow-up was 36 months (range, 28-44). The median CR duration is 16.2 months (8.5-39+); the median survival duration of this group has not been reached. The median PR duration was 7.2 months (3-10); the median survival was 13.3 months (10-26). The median overall survival was 14 months. Conclusions. The most impressive finding is the very long survival of CRs patients. This outcome has been reported in other cancer patients with a CR after IL-2 therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-304
Number of pages7
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Chemotherapy
  • Cisplatin
  • Head and neck cancer
  • IL-2
  • Immunotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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