Concurrent cetuximab with stereotactic body radiotherapy for recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: a single institution matched case-control study

Dwight E Heron, Jean-Claude M Rwigema, Michael K Gibson, Steven A Burton, Annette E Quinn, Robert L Ferris
American Journal of Clinical Oncology 2011, 34 (2): 165-72

PURPOSE: Locally recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma can be treated with curative intent by surgical salvage or reirradiation with or without chemotherapy. We have previously demonstrated the feasibility and safety of stereotactic body reirradiation at our institution; however, efficacy has been unsatisfactory. Based on the successful combination of cetuximab with radiotherapy in locally-advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, we compared stereotactic body radiotherapy alone with combination therapy, using concomitant cetuximab with stereotactic body radiotherapy, to enhance clinical efficacy while minimizing toxicity.

METHODS: In a retrospective-matched cohort study, we compared 2 groups of patients treated over a 6-year period with stereotactic body radiation therapy alone (n=35) or with weekly cetuximab infusion during stereotactic body radiotherapy (n=35), and evaluated clinical response, local control, overall survival, and toxicity. Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess independent prognostic factors.

RESULTS: The median follow-ups for patients alive at last contact were 21.3 months and 24.8 months for stereotactic body radiotherapy only (n=13) and stereotactic body radiotherapy plus cetuximab (n=22), respectively. Our results indicate that cetuximab conferred an overall survival advantage (24.5 vs. 14.8 months) when compared with the stereotactic body radiotherapy alone arm, without a significant increase in grade 3/4 toxicities. This survival advantage was also observed in the subgroup that had received cetuximab therapy during their prior therapeutic regimen.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest an overall survival benefit of concomitant cetuximab with stereotactic body radiotherapy in locally recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, and suggest a role in this setting. Concomitant cetuximab with stereotactic body radiotherapy is a reasonable approach for unresectable recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, and should be tested in prospective randomized trials to validate its clinical efficacy.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"