nab-Paclitaxel-based induction chemotherapy with or without cetuximab for locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Douglas Adkins, Jessica Ley, Peter Oppelt, Tanya M. Wildes, Hiram A. Gay, Mackenzie Daly, Jason Rich, Randal C. Paniello, Ryan Jackson, Patrik Pipkorn, Brian Nussenbaum, Kathryn Trinkaus, Wade Thorstad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objectives To explore the effect of incorporating cetuximab into induction chemotherapy in locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Materials and methods Retrospective comparative analysis of two consecutive prospective phase II trials was performed: trial 1 with nab-paclitaxel/cisplatin/5-FU and cetuximab (APF-C; n = 30) and trial 2 with APF (n = 30). Patients were scheduled to receive chemoradiation therapy (CRT) with cisplatin. T2-4 classification oropharynx (OP)/larynx/hypopharynx SCC were included. Cumulative incidence of death of disease (CIDD), overall survival (OS), and cumulative incidence of relapse were compared between APF-C and APF. Results No significant differences in patient or tumor characteristics were noted between the groups. Median follow-up of surviving patients was 52 (25–95) months. Relapse occurred in 5 (17%) patients treated with APF-C and in 2 (7%) treated with APF (p = 0.37). In human papillomavirus (HPV)-related OPSCC (n = 34), the CIDD at 52 months was 3.4% with APF-C and 2.6% with APF and the two-year OSs were 94%. In HPV-unrelated HNSCC (n = 25), the CIDD at 52 months was 4.4% with APF-C and 3.3% with APF and two-year OSs were 83% and 92%, respectively. CIDD or OS did not differ when stratified by treatment group and HPV status (CIDD: p = 0.80; OS: p = 0.30). Conclusion This exploratory retrospective comparative analysis demonstrated no significant difference in CIDD, OS, or cumulative incidence of relapse between patients treated with APF-C or APF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalOral Oncology
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Cetuximab
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Induction chemotherapy


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