To report the long-term outcomes and toxicity of a regimen of infusion paclitaxel delivered concurrently with radiotherapy in patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.Between 1995 and 1999, 35 patients with nonmetastatic, Stage III or IV squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck were treated with three cycles of paclitaxel as a 120-h continuous infusion beginning on Days 1, 21, and 42, concurrent with radiotherapy. The initial 16 patients received 105 mg/m(2)/cycle, and the subsequent 19 patients received 120 mg/m(2)/cycle. External beam radiotherapy was delivered to a dose of 70.2-72 Gy at five fractions weekly. Patients were followed to evaluate the disease outcomes and late toxicity of this regimen.The median follow-up for all patients was 56.5 months. The median survival was 56.5 months, and the median time to local recurrence was not reached. Of the 35 patients, 15 (43%) developed hypothyroidism. Of the 33 patients who underwent percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube placement, 11 were percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube dependent until death or their last follow-up visit. Also, 5 patients (14%) required a tracheostomy until death, and 3 (9%) developed a severe esophageal stricture. All evaluated long-term survivors exhibited salivary hypofunction. Fibrosis in the radiation field occurred in 24 patients (69%).The results of our study have shown that concurrent chemoradiotherapy with a 120-h infusion of paclitaxel provides long-term local control and survival in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Xerostomia, hypothyroidism, esophageal and pharyngeal complications, and subcutaneous fibrosis were common long-term toxicities; however, the vast majority of toxicities were grade 1 or 2.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2008.09.053
View details for Web of Science ID 000267505000010
View details for PubMedID 19117692
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2720824