Locoregionally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer Treated With Primary Radiotherapy: A Comparison of the Addition of Cetuximab or Chemotherapy and the Impact of Protocol Treatment

Academic Article


  • Purpose: The addition of platinum-based chemotherapy (ChRT) or cetuximab (ExRT) to concurrent radiotherapy (RT) has resulted in improved survival in Phase III studies for locoregionally advanced head and neck cancer (LAHNC). However the optimal treatment regimen has not been defined. A retrospective study was performed to compare outcomes in patients who were treated definitively with ExRT or ChRT. Methods: Cetuximab with concurrent RT was used to treat 29 patients with LAHNC, all of whom had tumors of the oral cavity, oropharynx, or larynx. All patients were T2 to T4 and overall American Joint Committee on Cancer Stage III to IVB, with a Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) score of 60 or greater. ChRT was used to treat 103 patients with similar characteristics. Patients were evaluated for locoregional control (LRC), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), disease-specific survival (DSS), and overall survival (OS). Median follow-up for patients alive at last contact was 83 months for those treated with ExRT and 53 months for those treated with ChRT. Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess independent prognostic factors. Results: The LRC, DMFS, and DSS were not significantly different, with 3-year rates of 70.7%, 92.4%, and 78.6% for ExRT and 74.7%, 86.6%, and 76.5% for ChRT, respectively. The OS was significantly different between the two groups (p = 0.02), with 3-year rates of 75.9% for ExRT and 61.3% for ChRT. OS was not significant when patients who were on protocol treatments of ExRT or ChRT were compared. Also, OS was not significant when multivariate analysis was used to control for potential confounding factors. Conclusion: In our single-institution retrospective review of patients treated with ExRT or ChRT, no significant differences were found in LRC, DMFS, DSS, or OS. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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    Author List

  • Caudell JJ; Sawrie SM; Spencer SA; Desmond RA; Carroll WR; Peters GE; Nabell LM; Meredith RF; Bonner JA
  • Start Page

  • 676
  • End Page

  • 681
  • Volume

  • 71
  • Issue

  • 3