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Cancer. 2001 Feb 1;91(3):541-7.

Phase II randomized trial comparing vinorelbine versus vinorelbine plus cisplatin in patients with recurrent salivary gland malignancies.

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Department of Medical Oncology, San Giovanni Antica Sede Hospital, Via Cavour 31, 10123 Torino, Italy.



Some previous studies have shown that vinorelbine (VNB) is active in recurrent salivary gland tumors.


Between April 1993 and April 1997, 36 patients in a Phase II randomized trial received either cisplatin, 80 mg/m(2), on Day 1 plus VNB, 25 mg/m(2), on Days 1 and 8 (every 3 weeks) (for a minimum of 3 cycles (Arm A [16 patients]), or VNB, 30 mg/m(2)/week, (for a minimum of 9 wks) (Arm B [20 patients]). There were 23 males and 13 females with a median age of 59 years (range, 20-74 years) and a median Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 1 (range, 0-2). Four patients had been treated with prior surgery (S) or radiotherapy (RT), 27 patients had been treated with S plus RT, and 5 patients had been treated with S plus RT plus mitoxantrone. Eighteen patients had major salivary gland tumors, and 18 patients had minor salivary gland tumors; 9 patients had adenocarcinoma, 22 patients had adenoid cystic carcinoma, 1 patient had a malignant mixed carcinoma, 3 patients had undifferentiated carcinoma, and 1 patient had a mucoepidermoid carcinoma. The site of recurrence was local in 16 patients, local plus metastatic in 5 patients, and metastatic only in 15 patients. These characteristics were well balanced between the 2 arms.


In Arms A and B a complete response (CR) was noted in 3 patients (19%) and no patients, respectively; a partial response (PR) was noted in 4 patients (25%) and 4 patients (20%), respectively; no change was noted in 6 patients (37.5%) and 9 patients (45%), respectively; and progressive disease was noted in 3 patients (19%) and 7 patients (35%), respectively. The median duration of the CR was 15+ months (range, 6-27+ months) and for PR the median duration was 7.5 months (range, 3-11+ months) and 6 months (range, 3-9 months) in Arms A and B, respectively. Number of patients surviving > 12 months was 6 versus 1 in Arms A and B, respectively (P < 0.05). Grade 2-3 nausea and emesis was statistically higher (P < 0.001) in Arm A; there was no significant difference with regard to other side-effects between the two treatment arms.


VNB is a drug with moderate activity in salivary gland malignancies. The combination of cisplatin plus VNB was found to be more active than VNB alone, with a good number of CRs and long-term survivors reported in the current study.

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