Medical Oncology

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 279–284

Concomitant chemoradiotherapy using low-dose weekly gemcitabine versus low-dose weekly paclitaxel in locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: a phase III study

  • Amal Ahmed-Fouad Halim
  • Hanan Ahmed Wahba
  • Hend Ahmed El-Hadaad
  • Ahmed Abo-Elyazeed
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s12032-010-9811-x

Cite this article as:
Halim, A.AF., Wahba, H.A., El-Hadaad, H.A. et al. Med Oncol (2012) 29: 279. doi:10.1007/s12032-010-9811-x

Abstract

The objective of this study was to compare concomitant chemoradiotherapy based on weekly low-dose gemcitabine versus weekly low-dose paclitaxel in locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Previously, untreated patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck were randomly assigned to one of the two concomitant chemoradiation regimens: (1) weekly gemcitabine at a dose of 100 mg/m2 over 30 min 1–2 h before radiotherapy and (2) weekly paclitaxal at a dose of 20 mg/m2 over 60 min 4–6 h before radiotherapy. The planned radiotherapy dose was 65 Gy over 6.5 weeks in 32 settings. Two hundred and sixteen patients were randomly divided into 2 groups: group A (110 patients) and group B (106 patients) who received concomitant weekly low-dose gemcitabine and low-dose paclitaxal, respectively, with the radiotherapy protocol. The hematological toxicity was generally mild. On the contrary, non-hematologic toxicities were severe. Grade III mucositis occurred in 36% in group A and in 24% in group B (P = 0.04). Moreover, grade III dermatitis were encountered in 24% in group A and 13% in group B (P = 0.049). Thirty-two (29%) of group A and 18(17%) of group B patients required enteral or parenteral feeding (P = 0.01). Sixteen (15%) of group A and 6 (6%) of group B required enteral or parenteral feeding that lasted for 6 months (P = 0.03). Regarding the late effect on swallowing, 8% of patients in group A and 2% of patients in group B required enteral or parenteral feeding for more than 6 months (P = 0.035). Response rates were 78 and 89% in groups A and B, respectively (P = 0.038). The 2-year progression-free survival figures were 54 and 64% of groups A and B, respectively; however, the 2-year overall survival figures were 56 and 67%, respectively. On the other hand, the 3-year progression-free survival figures were 39 and 48% for groups A and B, respectively, while the 3-year overall survival figures were 45 and 49%, respectively (P = 0.05). Both concomitant chemoradiotherapy regimens were easily given in the outpatient clinic. The regimen based on paclitaxel was significantly more tolerable and effective; however, the difference was not enormous.

Keywords

Concomitant chemoradiotherapy Gemcitabine Paclitaxel Head and neck cancer 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amal Ahmed-Fouad Halim
    • 1
  • Hanan Ahmed Wahba
    • 1
  • Hend Ahmed El-Hadaad
    • 1
  • Ahmed Abo-Elyazeed
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Oncology and Nuclear MedicineUniversity of MansouraMansouraEgypt
  2. 2.Community Medicine, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MansouraMansouraEgypt

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