Background: The objective of this phase 2 study was to evaluate the tolerability and efficacy of incorporating cetuximab and simultaneous integrated-boost (SIB), intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) into a well described 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and hydroxyurea (HU)-based chemoradiation regimen. Method: Patients with stage IVA and IVB or high-risk stage III squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck were enrolled on a phase 2 trial. Prior organ-conserving surgery or induction chemotherapy was allowed off protocol. SIB-IMRT was prescribed to low-risk volumes (43.2 gray [Gy] to 48 Gy) and intermediate-risk volumes (54-63 Gy). A separate IMRT cone-down plan was targeted to macroscopic disease (72 Gy). The median radiation dose was 72 Gy (range, 60-72 Gy) administered in 1.5 Gy fractions twice daily during Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9. Concurrent systemic therapy consisted of 5-FU (600 mg/m 2), HU (500 mg twice daily), and cetuximab (250 mg/m2). Results: From January 2007 through April 2008, 33 patients were enrolled. At a median follow-up of 24 months, the 2-year rates of locoregional control, distant control, disease-free survival, and overall survival were 83%, 79%, 69%, and 86%, respectively. Grade 3 toxicity consisted of mucositis in 33% of patients, radiation dermatitis in 15%of patients, anemia in 18% of patients, leukopenia in 18% of patients, neutropenia in 12% of patients, and thrombocytopenia in 3% of patients. Most patients (64%) were able to tolerate treatment without a feeding tube, and there were no acute or late grade ≤4 adverse events. Conclusions: The current results indicated that concurrent 5-FU, HU, and cetuximab plus SIB-IMRT is a promising and reasonably well tolerated approach to incorporating molecularly targeted therapy into curative therapy for patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer.
- epidermal growth factor receptor
- head and neck cancer
- intensity-modulated radiation therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research