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A Multicenter Evaluation of Different Chemotherapy Regimens in Older Adults With Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Undergoing Definitive Chemoradiation

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2023 Oct 30:S0360-3016(23)08025-2. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2023.10.025. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: The number of older adults with head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is increasing, and treatment of these patients is challenging. Although cisplatin-based chemotherapy concomitantly with radiotherapy is considered standard regimen for patients with locoregionally advanced HNSCC, there is substantial real-world heterogeneity regarding concomitant chemotherapy in older HNSCC patients.

METHODS: The XXX study is an international multicenter cohort study including older (≥65 years) HNSCC patients treated with definitive radiotherapy at 13 academic centers in the United States and Europe. Here, patients with concomitant chemoradiation were analyzed regarding overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) using Kaplan-Meier analyses, while Fine-Gray competing risks regressions were performed regarding the incidence of locoregional failures (LRFs) and distant metastases (DMs).

RESULTS: Six hundred ninety-seven patients with a median age of 71 years were included in this analysis. Single-agent cisplatin was the most common chemotherapy regimen (n=310; 44%), followed by cisplatin plus 5-fluorouracil (n=137; 20%), carboplatin (n=73; 10%), and mitomycin c plus 5-fluorouracil (n=64; 9%). Carboplatin-based regimens were associated with diminished PFS (HR=1.39 [1.03-1.89], p<0.05) and a higher incidence of LRFs (SHR=1.54 [1.00-2.38], p=.05) compared with single-agent cisplatin, whereas OS (HR=1.15 [0.80-1.65], p=.46) was comparable. There were no oncological differences between single-agent and multi-agent cisplatin regimens (all p>.05). Median cumulative dose of cisplatin was 180 mg/m2 (IQR, 120-200 mg/m2). Cumulative cisplatin doses ≥200 mg/m2 were associated with increased OS (HR=0.71 [0.53-0.95], p=.02), PFS (HR=0.66 [0.51-0.87], p=.003), and lower incidence of LRFs (SHR=0.50 [0.31-0.80], p=.004). Higher cumulative cisplatin doses remained an independent prognostic variable in the multivariate regression analysis for OS (HR=0.996 [0.993-0.999], p=.009).

CONCLUSIONS: Single-agent cisplatin can be considered as the standard chemotherapy regimen for older HNSCC patients who can tolerate cisplatin. Cumulative cisplatin doses are prognostically relevant also in older HNSCC patients.


PMID:37914144 | DOI:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2023.10.025

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