Current and future trials of Taxol (paclitaxel) in head and neck cancer.

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Phase II clinical trials of single-agent paclitaxel have demonstrated the drug's activity in ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and both small cell and non-small cell lung cancer. A recently completed trial in recurrent head and neck cancerpatients conducted by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group resulted in a 40% (12 of 30) overall (complete plus partial) response rate with a high dose of paclitaxel (250 mg/m2 by 24-hour continuous infusion) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor support. Responses were observed in previously irradiated sites of locoregional disease as well as in distant metastases. The major toxicities were brief grade 3-4 neutropenia occurring in 91%, peripheral neuropathy in 39%, and arthralgias/myalgias in 39% of treated patients. Confirmatory single-agent trials with paclitaxel are in progress in the United States and Europe. Phase I and II trials also in progress or planned combine paclitaxel with cisplatin or carboplatin; ifosfamide; methotrexate; and cisplatin/5-fluorouracil. Lower doses (135 to 175 mg/m2) and alternative infusion schedules ranging from 3 hours to 10 days are also under evaluation in head and neck cancer and other solid tumors. Studies combining paclitaxel and radiotherapy are reviewed as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S51-54
JournalAnnals of oncology : official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology / ESMO
Volume5 Suppl 6
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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