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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A phase I-II trial of carboplatin and 5-fluorouracil combination chemotherapy in advanced carcinoma of the head and neck.

Twenty-nine patients with recurrent or advanced, incurable head and neck cancer were entered into a phase I-II trial of carboplatin in combination with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), 1,000 mg/m2/d continuous intravenous (IV) infusion for five days every 28 days. The initial dose of carboplatin was 300 mg/m2 for patients with Karnofsky performance scores greater than or equal to 70%, and 240 mg/m2 for patients with scores of 50% to 60%. Subsequent doses were modified to achieve grade 2 myelo-suppression: WBC, 2,000 to 2,999 cells/microL; granulocytes, 1,000 to 1,499 cells/microL; and platelets, 50,000 to 75,000 cells/microL. Dose levels were 180, 240, 300, 360, and 420 mg/m2. Twenty-eight patients had squamous-cell cancers and one had an adenoid cystic carcinoma of the parotid. There were 26 patients with recurrent disease; 22 had received prior RT; only two had received other chemotherapy immediately before study entry. Three patients had newly diagnosed incurable stage IV disease. The median performance status was 80% (range, 60% to 90%). All patients had objectively measurable disease, and 28 were evaluable for response. There were three complete responses (CRs) and ten partial responses (PRs) (48% CR and PR); the median duration of response was 4.7 months (range, 1.5 to 15+ months). Dose-limiting toxicities were granulocytopenia, thrombocytopenia, and stomatitis. Prolonged myelosuppression delayed retreatment in eight patients and delayed 19 of 107 (18%) courses. Stomatitis occurred in 61% and diarrhea in 29%. 5-FU dosage was decreased in ten patients (36%) for grade 2 or greater stomatitis or diarrhea. Mild to moderate nausea and vomiting occurred in 66% of patient trials in which no pretreatment antiemetics were administered. Other toxicities included phlebitis from 5-FU in 71%, skin toxicity in 11%, mild alopecia in 25%, and fatigue in 54% of patients. Nephrotoxicity (creatinine greater than 2.0 mg/dL) occurred in one patient. The dose of carboplatin resulting in grade 2 toxicity was 180 mg/m2 in one patient, 240 mg/m2 in one, 300 mg/m2 in seven, 360 mg/m2 in ten, and 420 mg/m2 in one. Based on these results, we recommend a starting dose of carboplatin, 300 mg/m2, in combination with five days of continuous infusion 5-FU. In this dose and schedule, this combination was well tolerated and demonstrated antitumor activity in head and neck cancer. To confirm these promising results, a Southwest Oncology Group prospective randomized trial is in progress comparing carboplatin and 5-FU, cisplatin and 5-FU, and standard-dose weekly methotrexate in recurrent-disease patients.[1]


  1. A phase I-II trial of carboplatin and 5-fluorouracil combination chemotherapy in advanced carcinoma of the head and neck. Forastiere, A.A., Natale, R.B., Takasugi, B.J., Goren, M.P., Vogel, W.C., Kudla-Hatch, V. J. Clin. Oncol. (1987) [Pubmed]
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