Concurrent Radiotherapy With Cetuximab or Platinum-based Chemotherapy for Locally Advanced Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

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The management of high-risk cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) is not well defined. We review outcomes in patients with locally advanced cutaneous SCCHN treated with radiation and concomitant platinum (Pt)-based chemotherapy or cetuximab (Cx).


We identified 23 patients treated at our institution from 2007 to 2014. Systemic therapy consisted of Pt-based chemotherapy for 15 (65%) patients and Cx for 8 (35%) patients. Treatment intent was definitive for 48% and adjuvant for 52% of the cases.


The majority (87%) of patients had stage III/IV disease and 9 (39%) patients had unresectable disease. All patients were being treated for recurrent disease. Aside from median age (59 Pt vs. 71 Cx, P=0.04), there were no significant differences in patient and tumor characteristics between those receiving Pt versus Cx therapy. At mean follow-up of 24 months, locoregional recurrence and distant failure were observed in 52% and 17% of all patients, respectively. Estimated 2-year disease-free survival and overall survival in the Cx versus Pt groups were: 50% versus 30% (P=0.25), and 73% versus 40% (P=0.32), respectively.


Radiotherapy with either concurrent Pt or Cx appears to offer similar clinical outcomes in patients with locally advanced cutaneous SCCHN.

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