Home Hematology and Oncology Possible Benefit for Addition of Cetuximab to RT in Laryngeal CA

Possible Benefit for Addition of Cetuximab to RT in Laryngeal CA

Nonsignificant increase in laryngeal preservation, laryngectomy-free survival with cetuximab plus RT

WEDNESDAY, July 13, 2016 (HealthDay News) — For patients with hypopharyngeal or laryngeal carcinoma, the addition of cetuximab to radiotherapy is associated with a nonsignificant improvement in laryngeal preservation and laryngectomy-free survival, according to a study published online July 7 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

James Bonner, M.D., from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues examined the rates of laryngeal preservation and laryngectomy-free survival in a randomized trial involving patients with cancer of the larynx or hypopharynx. A total of 168 patients from 73 centers in the United States and 14 other countries were randomized to cetuximab and radiotherapy (CRT; 90 patients) or radiotherapy alone (78 patients).

The researchers found the rates of laryngeal preservation were 87.9 and 85.7 percent for CRT and radiotherapy alone, respectively, at two years (hazard ratio, 0.57; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.23 to 1.42). For laryngectomy-free survival, the hazard ratio was 0.78 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.54 to 1.11). Median overall survival was 27 months in the CRT group and 21 months in the radiotherapy-alone group (hazard ratio, 0.87; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.60 to 1.27). There were no between-group differences noted in overall quality of life, need for a feeding tube, or speech.

“The results of a possible cetuximab-related laryngeal preservation benefit for patients with hypopharyngeal or laryngeal cancer are intriguing; these results need to be interpreted in the context of a retrospective subset analysis with limited sample size,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Eli Lilly, which manufactures cetuximab and partially funded the study.

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