Sequential therapy for the locally advanced larynx and hypopharynx cancer subgroup in TAX 324: Survival, surgery, and organ preservation

Marshall R. Posner, C. M. Norris, L. J. Wirth, D. M. Shin, K. J. Cullen, E. W. Winquist, C. R. Blajman, E. A. Mickiewicz, G. P. Frenette, L. F. Plinar, R. B. Cohen, L. M. Steinbrenner, J. M. Freue, V. A. Gorbunova, S. A. Tjulandin, L. E. Raez, D. R. Adkins, R. B. Tishler, M. R. Roessner, R. I. Haddad

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136 Scopus citations


Background: Locally advanced laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers (LHC) represent a group of cancers for which surgery, laryngectomy-free survival (LFS), overall survival (OS), and progression-free survival (PFS) are clinically meaningful end points. Patients and methods: These outcomes were analyzed in the subgroup of assessable LHC patients enrolled in TAX 324, a phase III trial of sequential therapy comparing docetaxel plus cisplatin and fluorouracil (TPF) against cisplatin and fluorouracil (PF), followed by chemoradiotherapy. Results: Among 501 patients enrolled in TAX 324, 166 had LHC (TPF, n = 90; PF, n = 76). Patient characteristics were similar between subgroups. Median OS for TPF was 59 months [95% confidence interval (CI): 31-not reached] versus 24 months (95% CI: 13-42) for PF [hazard ratio (HR) for death: 0.62; 95% CI: 0.41-0.94; P = 0.024]. Median PFS for TPF was 21 months (95% CI: 12-59) versus 11 months (95% CI: 8-14) for PF (HR: 0.66; 95% CI: 0.45-0.97; P = 0.032). Among operable patients (TPF, n = 67; PF, n = 56), LFS was significantly greater with TPF (HR: 0.59; 95% CI: 0.37-0.95; P = 0.030). Three-year LFS with TPF was 52% versus 32% for PF. Fewer TPF patients had surgery (22% versus 42%; P = 0.030). Conclusions: In locally advanced LHC, sequential therapy with induction TPF significantly improved survival and PFS versus PF. Among operable patients, TPF also significantly improved LFS and PFS. These results support the use of sequential TPF followed by carboplatin chemoradiotherapy as a treatment option for organ preservation or to improve survival in locally advanced LHC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-927
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009


  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Hypopharynx cancer
  • Larynx cancer
  • Organ preservation


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