Phase I/II trial of radiation with chemotherapy 'boost' for advanced squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck: Toxicities and responses

Adam S. Garden, Bonnie S. Glisson, K. Kian Ang, William H. Morrison, Scott M. Lippman, Robert M. Byers, Fady Geara, Gary L. Clayman, Dong M. Shin, David L. Callender, Fadlo R. Khuri, Helmuth Goepfert, Waun K. Hong, Lester J. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Purpose: Extrapolating from our experience delivering a 'boost' field of radiation concurrently with fields treating both gross and subclinical disease at the end of a course of radiation therapy, we developed a regimen to deliver concurrent chemotherapy during the last 2 weeks of a conventionally fractionated course of radiation. Patients and Methods: Patients had stage III or IV biopsy-proven squamous cell carcinoma originating from a head and neck mucosal site. The regimen was 70 Gy delivered over 7 weeks with concurrent fluorouracil (5-FU) and cisplatin given daily with each radiation dose during the last 2 weeks. A phase I study was performed to determine the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) before a phase II study was conducted. Results: The MTD was 400 mg/m2 per day for 5-FU and 10 mg/m2 per day for cisplatin. Mucositis persisting more than 6 weeks after therapy was the dose-limiting toxicity. A total of 60 patients were treated on the two phases of the study. Eighteen patients (35%) treated at the MTD developed prolonged mucositis. There were two cases of neutropenic sepsis, including one fatality. The actuarial 2-year rates for overall survival, freedom from relapse, and local control were 62%, 59%, and 80%, respectively. Conclusion: Preliminary locoregional control rates seem to be higher than those reported for treatment with radiation alone. Toxicity was also greater than that seen with radiation alone, but the regimen was designed to deliver an intense treatment schedule, which could be completed without significant interruptions, and to obtain high control rates above the clavicles. These end points were achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2390-2395
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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