Cetuximab in combination with chemoradiation after induction chemotherapy of locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma: preliminary results

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Abstract

Aim:

This article aimed to determine treatment compliance, acute toxicities and the short-term curative effects of combining cetuximab with chemoradiation following induction chemotherapy of locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).

Materials & methods:

A total of 21 patients with locoregionally advanced NPC were scheduled to receive one cycle of induction chemotherapy followed by intensity-modulated radiotherapy, weekly administration of cetuximab and concurrent chemotherapy (at least two cycles with a limit of six).

Results:

All 21 patients completed the planned radiotherapy, 14 patients (67%) without treatment breaks, and 20 patients (95.2%) completed the planned cetuximab therapy. Grade 4 toxicities included leukopenia (seven patients; 33.4%), neutropenia (three patients; 14.3%), thrombocytopenia (one patient; 4.8%) and acneiform rash (one patient; 4.8%). Over a median follow-up period of 13 months (range: 3–23 months), the local, regional and distant control rates were 100, 100 and 95.2%, respectively.

Conclusion:

Cetuximab in combination with intensity-modulated radiotherapy and chemoradiation is a feasible strategy against locoregionally advanced NPC. Preliminary survival data are encouraging compared with historic data.

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