The standard regimen for recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer has not been established. We retrospectively analyzed the safety and efficacy of docetaxel plus cisplatin as first-line treatment in our institute.Patients and methods
Between 2005 and 2010, 44 patients with metastic or recurrent head and neck cancer received docetaxel (75 mg/m2 or 80 mg/m2, day 1) plus cisplatin (75 mg/m2, day 1) every 3 weeks were analyzed. This treatment was continued until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The overall response was evaluated using RECIST 1.0 during chemotherapeutic treatment, and adverse events were graded according to CTCAE ver. 3.0.Results
Characteristics of patients were below: median age, 61 years old (range; 38–80); gender (male), 79.5%; extent of disease, distant metastatic/recurrent: 9/35; primary site, nasal or paranasal cavity/nasopharynx/oropharynx/hypopharhynx/oral cavity/larynx: 1/4/13/17/8/1. The overall response rate (CR + PR) was 43.2%. Median progression-free survival was 6.6 months (95% CI: 5.2–8.0) and median overall survival was 14.2 months (95% CI: 11.2–17.2). Grade 3/4 neutropenia was observed in 90.9 % of patients, and developed febrile neutropenia in 47.7 %.Conclusions
Docetaxel plus cisplatin is effective and feasible for Japanese patients with metastatic or recurrent head and neck cancer. However, the hematologic toxicity of this regimen should be carefully monitored and managed.