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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 49  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-5

Palliative weekly chemotherapy along with cetuximab in recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancers: A retrospective analysis

1 Senior Consultant Medical Oncology, BLKCC, Senior Consultant Medical Oncology, Action Balaji Cancer Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Director HN Surgical Oncology, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute, New Delhi, India
3 Director Radiation Oncology, Max Cancer centre, Saket, New Delhi, India
4 Senior Consultant, Radiation Oncology, RGCI, New Delhi, India
5 Senior consultant MRI, RGCI, New Delhi, India
6 Senior Consultant Imaging, RGCI, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
R R Rangaraju
Senior Consultant Medical Oncology, BLKCC, Senior Consultant Medical Oncology, Action Balaji Cancer Hospital, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.98906

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Background: This study was undertaken to report the results of weekly combination chemotherapy with cetuximab in recurrent/metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (R/M SCCHN). Materials and Methods: Retrospective analysis of 35 R/M SCCHN patients who received cetuximab with weekly paclitaxel and platin (cisplatin/carboplatin) from SCCHN August 2006 to October 2008 at our Institute was performed. Results: Thirty-five patients (33 [94.3%] males and 2 [5.7%] females) received the planned weekly chemotherapy protocol. Median age of these patients was 52 years. Of the SCCHN 32 evaluable patients, 25 patients showed symptomatic improvement and 7 showed no improvement. Radiological responses using RECIST criteria reported CR in 1 patient (3.1%), PR in 17 patients (53.1%), and SD in 6 patients (18.8%). The remaining six patients demonstrated disease progression while two could not be assessed. Median overall survival (OS) was 8.016 months (95% CI; 6.572--9.461) and median PFS was 5.782 months (95% CI; 4.521--7.044). The major chemotherapy-related grades 2 and 3 toxicity recorded was cetuximab-induced rash reported in 24 patients. No treatment-related death within 30 days was observed. Conclusion: Cetuximab with weekly combination chemotherapy (Paclitaxel + Platinum compound) has shown promise, demonstrating comparable response and outcomes with acceptable toxicity in R/M SCCHN patients.


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