Postoperative Concurrent Chemoradiotherapy Versus Postoperative Radiotherapy in High-Risk Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck: The Randomized Phase III TROG 05.01 Trial

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2018, 36 (13), pp. 1275 - 1283
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© 2018 by American Society of Clinical Oncology Purpose To report the results of the Trans Tasman Radiation Oncology Group randomized phase III trial designed to determine whether the addition of concurrent chemotherapy to postoperative radiotherapy (CRT) improved locoregional control in patients with high-risk cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Patients and Methods The primary objective was to determine whether there was a difference in freedom from locoregional relapse (FFLRR) between 60 or 66 Gy (6 to 6.5 weeks) with or without weekly carboplatin (area under the curve 2) after resection of gross disease. Secondary efficacy objectives were to compare disease-free survival and overall survival. Results Three hundred twenty-one patients were randomly assigned, with 310 patients commencing allocated treatment (radiotherapy [RT] alone, n = 157; CRT, n = 153). Two hundred thirty-eight patients (77%) had high-risk nodal disease, 59 (19%) had high-risk primary or in-transit disease, and 13 (4%) had both. Median follow-up was 60 months. Median RT dose was 60 Gy, with 84% of patients randomly assigned to CRT completing six cycles of carboplatin. The 2- and 5-year FFLRR rates were 88% (95% CI, 83% to 93%) and 83% (95% CI, 77% to 90%), respectively, for RT and 89% (95% CI, 84% to 94%) and 87% (95% CI, 81% to 93%; hazard ratio, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.46 to 1.55; P = .58), respectively, for CRT. There were no significant differences in disease-free or overall survival. Locoregional failure was the most common site of first treatment failure, with isolated distant metastases as the first site of failure seen in 7% of both arms. Treatment was well tolerated in both arms, with no observed enhancement of RT toxicity with carboplatin. Grade 3 or 4 late toxicities were infrequent. Conclusion Although surgery and postoperative RT provided excellent FFLRR, there was no observed benefit with the addition of weekly carboplatin.
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