Phase II study of gefitinib adaptive dose escalation to skin toxicity in recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

Cesar A. Perez, Hunho Song, Luis E. Raez, Mark Agulnik, Tatyana A. Grushko, Allison Dekker, Kerstin Stenson, Elizabeth A. Blair, Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, Tanguy Y. Seiwert, Everett E. Vokes, Ezra E.W. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Gefitinib has activity in patients with advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) and skin toxicity has been postulated to be a predictor of response and improved outcome. Methods: This open-label, multi-institution, phase II study evaluated the activity of gefitinib at individually escalated doses up to 750 mg to achieve the skin toxicity grade ≥2. Results: Forty four patients were enrolled. Only twenty-three (52%) experienced skin rash grade ≥2. Of 44 patients, partial responses were noted in 3 (7%), stable disease in 8 (18%) and progressive disease in 33 patients. Median progression-free survival was 1.9 months (95% CI 1.6-2.2) and median overall survival was 5.1 months (95% CI 2.4-7.8). Grade of skin rash was not associated with response rate (p = 0.169) nor tumor control rate (p = 0.284); however, higher gefitinib trough levels were associated with disease control. Of the 11 tissue samples analyzed for EGFR gene copy by FISH, 7 were EGFR FISH positive, but this was not associated with improved tumor control or survival. Conclusions: Gefitinib has clinical activity as monotherapy in SCCHN. Dose escalation of gefitinib is feasible and may increase skin toxicity, but our data do not support increased activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)887-892
Number of pages6
JournalOral Oncology
Volume48
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • EGFR
  • Gefitinib
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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    Perez, C. A., Song, H., Raez, L. E., Agulnik, M., Grushko, T. A., Dekker, A., Stenson, K., Blair, E. A., Olopade, O. I., Seiwert, T. Y., Vokes, E. E., & Cohen, E. E. W. (2012). Phase II study of gefitinib adaptive dose escalation to skin toxicity in recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Oral Oncology, 48(9), 887-892. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oraloncology.2012.03.020