Intra-arterial versus intravenous chemoradiation for advanced head and neck cancer: Results of a randomized phase 3 trial

Coen R. N. Rasch, Michael Hauptmann, Jan Schornagel, Oda Wijers, Jan Buter, Theo Gregor, Ruud Wiggenraad, Jan Paul de Boer, Annemiek H. Ackerstaff, Robert Kroger, Frank J. P. Hoebers, Alfons J. M. Balm, Frans J. Hilgers

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Chemoradiation is the preferred treatment for advanced stage IV head and neck cancer. Higher doses of chemotherapy yielded promising results in vitro and vivo, confirmed by intra-arterial (IA) cisplatin-based chemoradiation in phase 2 studies. Two hundred and thirty-nine patients with (functionally) unresectable head and neck cancer were included, from 2000 to 2004, in a multicenter, randomized phase 3 trial, comparing IA and intravenous chemoradiation. Intravenous chemoradiation comprised 3x100 mg/m(2) cisplatin infusion on Days 1, 22, 43 combined with 70 Gy in 35 daily fractions. The IA chemoradiation treatment arm comprised 4x150 mg/m(2) cisplatin administered in the tumor-feeding artery on Days 1, 8, 15, 22, immediately followed by systemic rescue with sodium thiosulfate with the same radiotherapeutic regimen. Two patients were excluded from analysis because of nontreatment-related death immediately after randomization (n = 1) and esophageal carcinoma (n = 1). The median follow-up was 33 months 1-104 months. Ninety percent of the patients required tube feeding during treatment. Renal toxicity >grade 2 was 9% in the intravenous compared with 1% in the IA treatment arm (P <or= .0001). There was no difference in locoregional control, disease-free survival (DFS) or overall survival (OS), between the treatment arms. At 3 years, local control, locoregional control, DFS, and OS was .76, .63, .44, .51 in the IA versus .70, .65, .47, .47 in the intravenous treatment arm, respectively. Cisplatin-based IA chemoradiation was not superior to intravenous chemoradiation for advanced stage IV head and neck cancer regarding locoregional control and survival
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2159-2165
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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