Phase II study of paclitaxel, ifosfamide, and carboplatin in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Dong M. Shin, Fadlo R. Khuri, Bonnie S. Glisson, Lawrence Ginsberg, Vali M. Papadimitrakopoulou, Gary Clayman, J. Jack Lee, K. Kian Ang, Scott M. Lippman, Waun Ki Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. In the current study the authors assessed the antitumor activity (including response rate, duration of response, and survival) and toxicity profile (including anorexia, fatigue, emesis, and peripheral neuropathy) of a combination of paclitaxel, ifosfamide, and carboplatin (TIC) in patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). The trial hypothesis was that the TIC therapeutic index would be as high as that of paclitaxel, ifosfamide, and cisplatin (TIP) in this setting, but with less toxicity. METHODS. Patients with recurrent or metastatic SCCHN were treated with 175 mg/msup2/sup of paclitaxel as a 3-hour infusion on Day 1, 1000 mg/msup2/supof ifosfamide as a 2-hour infusion on Days 1-3, 600 mg/msup2/sup of mesna on Days 1-3, and carboplatin (area under the concentration-time curve of 6) as a 30-minute infusion on Day 1; the regimen was repeated every 3-4 weeks. All patients were premedicated with dexamethasone, diphenhydramine, and cimetidine before paclitaxel infusion. Prophylactic hematopoietic growth factors were not given. RESULTS. Among 56 patients entered onto the study, 55 patients were analyzed for survival rates (locoregional recurrence alone in 56% of patients and distant metastasis with or without locoregional recurrence in 44% of patients). Fifty-four patients were evaluable for tumor response and toxicity. A total of 32 patients (59%) had disease that responded to treatment; the complete response rate was 17% (9 of 54 patients). The median duration of the responses was 3.7 months (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 3.4-7.8 months) and that of complete responses was 9.7 months (95% CI, 7.4 months to date of last follow-up). The median duration of follow-up care in all patients was 13.5 months. The median survival time for all patients was 9.1 months (95% CI, 7.9-12.2 months). The regimen was well tolerated. Neutropenic fever developed in 30% of the patients; 1 patient died of neutropenia and sepsis. Other toxic effects included Grade 2-3 anorexia in 13% of patients, Grade 2-3 weight loss in 11% of patients, Grade 2-3 fatigue in 27% of patients, Grade 2-3 nausea/emesis in 13% of patients, and Grade 2-3 peripheral neuropathy in 9% of patients (toxicity grading based on the National Cancer Institute's Common Toxicity Criteria). Red blood cell and platelet transfusions were required in 13% and 7% of patients, respectively. CONCLUSIONS. The TIC regimen had high antitumor activity in patients with recurrent or metastatic SCCHN, with a 59% major response rate (17% complete response rate with relatively durable complete responses). Neutropenic fever developed in 30% of the patients, the incidence of which might have been decreased by prophylactic antibiotics or hematopoietic growth factor support. Other toxic effects included significantly lower rates and less severe instances of anorexia, emesis, fatigue, and peripheral neuropathy than those reported with the previously studied TIP regimen. The TIC regimen currently is being studied as an induction chemotherapy regimen in previously untreated patients with locally advanced SCCHN. The activity of TIC (a novel paclitaxel and ifosfamide-based regimen) in patients with recurrent or metastatic SCCHN should be confirmed in a Phase III randomized trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1316-1323
Number of pages8
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Carboplatin
  • Head and neck carcinoma
  • Ifosfamide
  • Paclitaxel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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