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South Asian J Cancer. 2020 Jan-Mar;9(1):43-46. doi: 10.4103/sajc.sajc_29_19.

Nimotuzumab with intensity-modulated radiation therapy in unresectable and platinum-ineligible locally advanced head-and-neck cancer.

Author information

Department of Radiation Oncology, Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (DU), Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Department of Radiation Oncology, Global Institute of Oncology, Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (DU), Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Medical Advisor, Biocon Ltd., Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.



Outcomes with conventional treatment are poor in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck (SCCHN). Treatment options are further limited for patients ineligible to receive platinum-based chemotherapy due to various factors such as geriatric age, comorbidity, and organ dysfunctions. The present study retrospectively evaluated the effectiveness of nimotuzumab when added to radiation therapy in unresectable, locally advanced SCCHN patients who were ineligible for platinum-based chemotherapy.

Materials and Methods:

The medical records of 21 patients with unresectable, locally advanced head-and-neck cancer and histologically confirmed squamous cell carcinoma who were ineligible for platinum-based chemotherapy treated with nimotuzumab and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) from 2012 to 2017 were retrospectively analyzed. The tumor response rate and overall survival (OS) were analyzed. Patients were assessed for toxicity and adverse events (AEs) as per CTCAE version 4. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software.


The median number of doses of nimotuzumab received was 6, and median dose of radiotherapy was 60 Gy. The tumor response rate was calculated at 24 weeks after the completion of radiotherapy and was as follows: 76.2% (16) of patients showed complete response, 9.5% (2) of patients showed partial response, 4.8% (1) of patients showed stable disease, and 9.5% (2) of patients showed progression of disease. Median OS was 21 months, whereas 1-year survival rate was 63.7%. No Grade 3 or Grade 4 AEs were observed.


Nimotuzumab with IMRT has achieved promising clinical outcomes in unresectable locally advanced SCCHN patients who are ineligible for platinum-based chemotherapy, without accumulation of toxicity.


Advanced; antibodies; carcinoma; head-and-neck neoplasms; inoperable; monoclonal; nimotuzumab; overall survival; platinum ineligible; squamous cell; therapy

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