Treating locally advanced head and neck cancers with an alternating regimen of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, plus cetuximab, has shown promise in a phase II trial, Italian researchers report.
Their trial in 45 patients combined chemotherapy with fluorouracil and carboplatin given on weeks 1, 4 and 7 of treatment, with radiotherapy administered daily on weeks 2-3, 5-6 and 8-10.
Cetuximab was also added weekly.
"Both complete response rate and long-term results compare favorably with the best reported in the literature," Dr. Marco Merlano from the S. Croce General Hospital in Cuneo reports.
30 patients experienced a skin toxicity that the authors attribute to an interaction between the treatments, and 2 patients died from toxicities, they report.