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Cancer J. 2011 Sep-Oct;17(5):267-72. doi: 10.1097/PPO.0b013e3182329791.

Combined modality treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, bevacizumab, and erlotinib in patients with locally advanced squamous carcinoma of the head and neck: a phase II trial of the Sarah Cannon oncology research consortium.

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  • 1Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Nashville, TN, USA.



: The aim of the study was to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of adding bevacizumab and erlotinib to concurrent chemoradiation therapy for first-line treatment of patients with locally advanced squamous carcinoma of the head and neck.


: Sixty previously untreated patients with squamous carcinoma of the head and neck (36 with oropharyngeal primaries; 83% men; median age, 56 years; 73% stage IV) received induction chemotherapy with 6 weeks of paclitaxel, carboplatin, infusional 5-fluorouracil, and bevacizumab; this treatment was followed by radiation therapy, weekly paclitaxel, bevacizumab, and erlotinib.


: After a median follow up of 32 months, the estimated 3-year progression-free and overall survival rates are 71% and 82%, respectively. Sixty-five percent of patients had major responses after induction therapy; after completion of therapy, 95% of patients had either partial or complete response radiographically. As expected, grade 3/4 mucosal toxicity occurred frequently (88%) during combined modality; no unexpected toxicity resulted from the addition of bevacizumab and erlotinib.


: The addition of bevacizumab and erlotinib to first-line combined modality therapy was feasible in a community-based setting, producing toxicity comparable to other effective combined modality regimens for head and neck cancer. The high level of efficacy suggests that incorporation of these targeted agents into first-line therapy should be further explored.

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