Radiotherapy with concomitant weekly docetaxel for Stages III/IV oropharynx carcinoma. Results of the 98-02 GORTEC Phase II trial.
OBJECTIVE (1) To study the feasibility, adverse effects and response of concurrent weekly Docetaxel with radical radiotherapy in inoperable locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. (2) To assess the compliance and tolerance of weekly Docetaxel with radiotherapy. MATERIAL AND METHODS Twenty one patients with stage III and IV head and neck squamous cell carcinoma satisfying inclusion criteria were selected and treated with conventional external radiotherapy of 70Gy in 35 fractions with weekly concurrent Docetaxel (15mg/sqm), administered one hour before radiotherapy. Assessment of toxicities and evaluationof response was carried out. RESULTS Majority of patients had stage IV diseaseand 17/21 (81%) received the planned radiotherapydose of 70Gy and ≥4 cycles of weekly chemotherapy. Duration of treatment ranged from 7.1to 11.2 weeks. The toxicities noted were Grade III mucositis in 57% and grade III skin reaction in 23%, grade III dysphagia in 38% and grade II weight loss in 23% of patients. Systemic toxicities associated with chemotherapy were minimal and there was no dose limiting toxicities. The overall locoregional response at first follow up was 85%, with complete response of 70% and partial response of 15%. CONCLUSION Concurrent Docetaxel is a feasible and suitable alternate to Cisplatin and 5-Fluorouracil chemotherapy with good patient compliance. The late toxicities and survival need to be followed up.