Weekly cisplatin concurrently with radiotherapy in head and neck squamous cell cancer : a retrospective analysis of a tertiary institute experience

Osman, Nemer, Elamin, Yasir Y., Rafee, Shereen, O'Brien, Cathal, Stassen, Leo F. A., Timon, Conrad, Kinsella, John, Brennan, Sinead, & O'Byrne, Kenneth J. (2014) Weekly cisplatin concurrently with radiotherapy in head and neck squamous cell cancer : a retrospective analysis of a tertiary institute experience. European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, 271(8), pp. 2253-2259.

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Radiotherapy combined with three weekly 100 mg/m2 of cisplatin is the accepted standard of care in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. However, this regimen is associated with severe toxicities with devastating effects on patients. Alternative protocols like weekly 40 mg/m2 have been used in an attempt to reduce toxicities. The main objective of the present study is to identify the dose intensities and toxicities of weekly cisplatin in patients treated in a tertiary centre over a 12 month period. Included patients had squamous cell carcinoma arising in the oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx, or hypopharynx. Patients were excluded if they had nasopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, distant metastasis or if they had prior treatment for head and neck cancer excluding neck dissection. During the study period, 52 patients met the inclusion criteria and their data were retrospectively obtained from the patients' database of St James hospital, Dublin. The median age of the study cohort was 54 years (range 33-73). Of the patients, 40 (76.9 %) were male and 12 (20.1 %) were female. The primary tumour sites were as follows: oral cavity and oropharynx in 38 (73 %), larynx in 10 (19 %), and hypopharynx in 4 (8 %). In total, 33 (63.5 %) patients had stage IV disease, while 19 (36.5 %) had stage III disease. Treatment was definitive in 35 (67 %) patients and adjuvant in 17 (35 %). Full-dose radiotherapy was achieved in 50 (96 %) patients. Only 22 (42.3 %) patients completed the intended six cycles of chemotherapy. Cumulative dose of 200 mg/m2 or more was reached in 37 (71 %) patients. The acute adverse effects included grades 3 and 4 mucositis, which occurred in 22 (43.3 %) and 6 patients (12 %), respectively. Grade 3 and 4 neutropenia occurred in six (11.5 %) and three (5.7 %) patients, respectively. The only other haematological toxicity was grade 3 anaemia in 20 (38.4 %) patients. There was no grade 3 or 4 renal toxicity among the study cohort, although grade 2 was observed in six (11.5 %) patients. Death occurred in one patient due to neutropenic septicaemia. In conclusion, weekly cisplatin is associated with moderate to severe toxicities and might lead to suboptimal chemotherapy delivery. More prospective clinical studies are required to determine the optimal chemoradiation regimen in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

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ID Code: 67777
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Combined chemoradiotherapy, Weekly cisplatin, Acute toxicities, Head and neck cancer
DOI: 10.1007/s00405-013-2749-9
ISSN: 1434-4726
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > ONCOLOGY AND CARCINOGENESIS (111200)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 24 Feb 2014 23:59
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2014 01:57

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