Lack of efficacy of topotecan in the treatment of metastatic or recurrent squamous carcinoma of the head and neck: An Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group trial (E3393)

Barbara A. Murphy, Traci Leong, Brian Burkey, Corey Langer, Arlene Forastiere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recurrent or metastatic squamous carcinoma of the head and neck (RMSCHN) is a modestly chemoresponsive tumor; however, currently available agents have failed to improve survival. New active agents are needed for the treatment of this disease. Topotecan is a topoisomerase inhibitor that demonstrated initial promising activity in squamous carcinoma of the head and neck. The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group conducted a phase II trial of topotecan to determine the efficacy and toxicity of a weekly treatment schedule in patients with RMSCHN. Patients with metastatic or locally recurrent squamous carcinoma of the head and neck were treated with topotecan 1.5 mg/m2 × 24 hours by continuous infusion on days 1, 8, 15, and 22 of each 35-day cycle. Patients were stratified in two cohorts: chemonaive and previously treated. Sixteen chemonaive and 16 previously treated patients were registered on study. Grade III/IV neutropenia and anemia occurred in 16% and 18% of patients, respectively. No responses were observed in either cohort. Median survival for previously untreated patients was 4.6 months and 3.2 months for previously treated patients. Topotecan failed to demonstrate efficacy in patients with RMSCHN. Further evaluation of this agent is not planned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-66
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Head and neck cancer
  • Metastatic disease
  • Squamous carcinoma
  • Topotecan
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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