Docetaxel, ifosfamide and cisplatin (DIP) in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
ABSTRACT Docetaxel, ifosfamide and cisplatin have all shown activity in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). The optimal combination of the three drugs is, however, unknown. Considering the favorable results of taxane-containing triplets as induction chemotherapy in locally advanced (LA) SCCHN, DIP (docetaxel, ifosfamide, cisplatin) was studied in this setting as part of a phase I dose- and sequence-exploring study.
D (60 or 75 mg/m(2)) was given by 60-min infusion on day 1, I (1000 mg/m(2)/day), with mesna until 12 hours after I, by 24-h infusion days 1-5, and P (50 or 75 mg/m(2)) by 24-h infusion on days 1 or 5. The cycles were repeated every 21 days. Toxicities according to the National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria version 2 (NCI-CTC2) were evaluated weekly and response was evaluated every 2 cycles according to the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Thereafter, radiotherapy (RT, cumulative dose 70 Gy) or chemoradiation (CRT), both with conventional fractionation, were planned.
Twenty-two patients (18 male, 4 female; age 41-66 years, performance status 0-1, 2 T4N0, 3 T3N2, 11 T4N2, 3 T unknown N3, 1 T1N3 and 2 T4N3) received a median of 4 DIP cycles (range 1-5). Grade 4 neutropenia occurred in 18 patients, grade 3 and 4 thrombocytopenia in 5 and 1 patients, respectively, and grade 3 anemia in 5 patients. Gastrointestinal and mucosal toxicities were generally mild/moderate. Vascular complications (probably not DIP-related) precluded local treatment in two patients. Moreover, one patient died on day 13 of the first DIP (neutropenic sepsis and myocardial infarction). The remaining patients received RT (n=2) or CRT (n=17; 16 of these with gemcitabine). The response to 2 x DIP was 95% (1 complete response, 19 partial responses, 1 stable disease); the complete response rate increased to 42% after 4 x DIP. No dose or sequence effect was evident. The minimum follow-up of the surviving patients was 51 months, with median relapse-free survival of 13.8 months and median overall survival of 18.8 months. Only four patients relapsed at distant sites.
DIP is highly active in previously untreated LA SCCHN, however, toxicity of DIP in this population is substantial.