Phase II study of sorafenib in combination with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil to treat recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma†

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We aimed to investigate the efficacy and tolerability of sorafenib combined with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in patients with recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).

Patients and methods

It was a Simon two-stage designed trial. Chemotherapy-naive patients with recurrent or metastatic disease were enrolled. The regimen was sorafenib 400 mg orally b.i.d., cisplatin 80 mg/m2 i.v. day 1, and 5-FU 1000 mg/m2/day CIV for 4 days, repeated every 21 days. After a maximum of six cycles of chemotherapy, patients received maintenance of sorafenib.


In total, 54 patients were enrolled. The objective response rate reached 77.8%, including 1 complete response and 41 partial responses. The median progression-free survival was 7.2 months (95% CI 6.8–8.4 months), and the median overall survival was 11.8 months (95% CI 10.6–18.7 months). Major toxic effects included hand–foot skin reaction, myelosuppression, and gastrointestinal (GI) reaction. The incidence of hemorrhage was 22.2%, and one patient with liver metastases died of GI bleeding. Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography was carried out in a subset of patients with liver metastases.


Combination of sorafenib, cisplatin (80 mg/m2) and 5-FU (3000 mg/m2) was tolerable and feasible in recurrent or metastatic NPC. Further randomized trials to compare sorafenib plus cisplatin and 5-FU with standard dose of cisplatin plus 5-FU in NPC are warranted.

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