Yeungnam Univ J Med.  2006 Dec;23(2):162-170. 10.12701/yujm.2006.23.2.162.

Docetaxel and Cisplatin Combination Chemotherapy in Patients with Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Daegu, Korea. ssykhs@med.yu.ac.kr

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Head and neck cancer is curable at early stages with local-regional therapy. However, most patients are diagnosed with advanced stage disease that requires combination therapy. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of docetaxel and cisplatin combination chemotherapy, in patients with advanced head and neck cancer by evaluating the response, survival and organ preservation rates.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
We reviewed retrospectively the medical records of 39 patients with advanced head and neck cancer who received docetaxel and cisplatin combination chemotherapy from March 2000 to July 2004.
RESULTS
The average age of the 39 patients was 53.4 (range 30 to 73 years) years and the most common primary site was the hypopharynx (23.0%). There were 36 patients who had stage IV disease and three patients with stage III disease. The overall response rate was 76.9% (30/39), including 12 complete responses (30.8%) and 18 partial responses (46.1%). The response rate based on the primary cancer and neck metastasis was 74.4% and 69.3%; the differences were not significant. Among 16 patients with laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer, 13 (81.2%) had their larynx preserved after chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy and a survival rate of 61.5%; three patients (18.8%) received a total laryngectomy and had a survival rate of 66.7%. The overall survival rate from the start of chemotherapy was 56.4% with a median survival of 30 months. The common toxicities observed were alopecia, vomiting, diarrhea, hepatotoxicity and anemia but they were all generally manageable.
CONCLUSION
Docetaxel and cisplatin combination chemotherapy is an effective regimen with a relatively high response rate and acceptable toxicity

Keyword

Docetaxel; Cisplatin; Chemotherapy; Head and neck Cancer
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