Paclitaxel in combination with carboplatin or gemcitabine for the treatment of advanced head and neck cancer
Briassoulis, E. Ch
Kosmidis, Paraskevas A.
Skarlos, Dimosthenis V.
SourceSeminars in oncology
Issue6 SUPPL. 19
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We performed a phase II study to evaluate the activity and toxicity of the combination of paclitaxel (Taxol; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Princeton, NJ) and carboplatin as first-line treatment in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer. From March 1994 until August 1996, 49 patients were treated with paclitaxel 200 mg/m2 by 3-hour infusion followed by carboplatin at an area under the concentration-time curve of 7 mg/mL · min; treatment was requested every 4 weeks. Granulocyte colony- stimulating factor was administered prophylactically on days 2 to 12 of each cycle. The study included 41 men and eight women, with a median age of 57 years (range, 23 to 73 years). Most of the patients were symptomatic and had locoregional disease. Primary sites included nasopharynx (14 patients), oropharynx (six), oral cavity (four), hypopharynx (three), larynx (20), paranasal sinuses (one), and unknown (one). After the completion of treatment, four patients (8%; 95% confidence interval, 0% to 16%) achieved a complete response and 12 (24%; 95% confidence interval, 12% to 37%) achieved a partial response. Grade 3/4 toxicities included anemia (2%) and leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, and stomatitis (4% each). After a median follow-up of 15.3 months, median time to progression was 5.7 months (range, 0.5 to 29.8+ months) and median survival was 13.3 months (range, 0.5 to 30.2+ months). In our ongoing study in a similar patient population, gemcitabine was substituted for carboplatin.
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