Cetuximab, paclitaxel, carboplatin, and radiation for head and neck cancer: a toxicity analysis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: To determine the feasibility and toxicity of the addition of cetuximab to paclitaxel, carboplatin, and concurrent radiation for patients with head and neck cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with stage III or IV locally advanced squamous cell cancer of the head and neck, without distant organ metastases, were eligible. Patients received 4 weeks of induction cetuximab followed by weekly cetuximab, paclitaxel, carboplatin, and concurrent radiation. RESULTS: Thirty-two patients were assessable for chemoradiation toxicities. Grade 3 and grade 4 mucositis occurred in 53% and 16% of patients, respectively. Grade 3 and grade 4 radiation dermatitis occurred in 44% and 9% of patients, respectively. Grade 3/4 radiation dermatitis was associated with the use of intensity modulated radiation therapy (64% vs.14%, respectively, P < 0.0001). Grade 3 and grade 4 cetuximab associated acneiform rash developed in 6% and 3% of patients. Overall 21 patients (66%) had any grade 3 toxicity and 10 patients (31%) had any grade 4 toxicity. The percentages of the intended total dose delivered of carboplatin, cetuximab, paclitaxel, and radiation were 86%, 89%, 89%, and 96%, respectively. CONCLUSION: Cetuximab, when combined with paclitaxel, carboplatin and intensity modulated radiation therapy, increases dermatologic toxicity but does not increase mucosal toxicity as compared with previous Brown University Oncology Group studies of paclitaxel, carboplatin, and conventional radiation for patients with head and neck cancer.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Birnbaum, A; Dipetrillo, T; Rathore, R; Anderson, E; Wanebo, H; Puthwala, Y; Joyce, D; Safran, H; Henderson, D; Kennedy, T; Ready, N; Sio, TT-W

Published Date

  • April 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 144 - 147

PubMed ID

  • 19786848

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-453X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/COC.0b013e3181979093


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States