The current study was conducted to determine the long-term outcomes of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx and pharynx who were treated with platin-based exclusive chemotherapy (EC) after they achieved a complete clinical response (CCR) to induction chemotherapy.
One hundred forty-two who achieved a CCR after platin-based induction chemotherapy were treated exclusively with additional chemotherapy, and 98.6% were followed for a minimum of 3 years or until death. Thirty-five patients had >10 years of follow-up.
The survival rates at 1 year and 5 years were 95.8% and 61.2%, respectively. The main causes of death were metachronous second primary tumors (n = 27) and intercurrent disease (n = 21). Death related to EC was not encountered, and only 2 patients (1.4%) had grade 4 toxicity. In multivariate analysis, primary tumor arising outside the glottic larynx (P = .0001) and a Charlson comorbidity index >1 (P = .0001) were associated with a statistically significant reduction in survival. The 1-year and 5-year Kaplan-Meier local control estimates were 76.1% and 50.7%, respectively. Salvage treatment resulted in an observed final local control rate of 93% that varied from 97.2% in patients who had glottic cancer to 88.7% in patients who had tumor originating from other sites (P = .097). Combined chemotherapy with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil (PF) allowed for the successful modulation of local therapy in 54.9% of patients.
For selected patients, EC may provide long-term, durable disease control. For patients who developed recurrent disease after EC, this approach did not diminish survival and maintained function in the majority of patients. Future work should be directed toward select markers of response to PF chemotherapy with which to identify those patients who are suited optimally for this approach. Cancer 2009. © 2009 American Cancer Society.