Amifostine was developed to protect normal tissues from radiation exposure. The current study was undertaken to determine whether amifostine would allow the delivery of greater numbers of weekly paclitaxel treatments with concomitant, hyperfractionated radiotherapy in patients with advanced head and neck carcinoma.Patients received radiation therapy twice daily using 1.6-gray (Gy) fractions up to a total of 70.4 Gy over an elapsed time of 6.5 weeks. All patients received paclitaxel 60 mg/m(2) once weekly starting on Day 1. The number of doses of paclitaxel was escalated from three to a maximum of six in groups of three patients. For the patients who received amifostine, a dose of 400 mg/m(2) was given intravenously over 15 minutes on Days 1-5, 8, 29-33, and 36. Patients underwent surgery for persistent tumor after radiotherapy. The plasma pharmacokinetics of paclitaxel were characterized during treatment with the first weekly dose to determine the effect of concurrently administered amifostine.Thirty-six patients were evaluable for this study. In the absence of amifostine, a maximum of four doses of paclitaxel were tolerated in combination with the radiotherapy. With amifostine, up to five doses of paclitaxel could be given. Generally, the treatment resulted in Grade 2 and 3 stomatitis. Overall, 69% of patients had a complete remission, and 29% had a partial remission. Both progression-free survival and overall survival were 66% at 30 months. Amifostine had no effect on the pharmacokinetics of paclitaxel.The administration of amifostine allowed the authors to give an additional dose of paclitaxel to patients who were undergoing hyperfractionated radiotherapy for head and neck carcinoma. This treatment regimen resulted in a high frequency of complete remissions and an excellent progression-free survival pattern without compromising the plasma kinetics of paclitaxel.
View details for DOI 10.1002/cncr.21312
View details for Web of Science ID 000232001200011
View details for PubMedID 16116597