Docetaxel in head and neck cancer - A review AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY-CANCER CLINICAL TRIALS Colevas, A. D., Posner, M. R. 1998; 21 (5): 482-486


Docetaxel has been shown to have significant antitumor activity. The mechanism of action is through stabilization of tubulin, arresting cells in the G2M phase of the cell cycle. The maximum tolerated dose of docetaxel is 100 mg/m2 every 21 days. Short-lasting neutropenia is the dose-limiting toxicity. Other significant toxicities include alopecia, mucositis, fatigue, sensory neuropathy, fluid retention, rash, and hypersensitivity reactions. Phase II studies of docetaxel as a single agent in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) have documented response rates of 27% to 43%. Studies of docetaxel combined with cisplatin, and docetaxel, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil (TPF) as induction therapy for patients with SCCHN demonstrate that these regimens are highly active. An early trial of induction TPF with leucovorin (TPFL) has yielded an overall response rate of 100% and complete response rate of 61%. In vitro studies have shown docetaxel to be a potent radiation sensitizer for squamous cell carcinoma cell lines, and phase I trials using concurrent docetaxel and radiotherapy are ongoing.

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