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Curative treatment can be an option for patients with metastatic squamous cell cancer of the head and neck

Authors Guenne C, Fayette J, Cosmidis A, Fuchsmann C, Tartas S, Favrel V, Céruse P

Received 1 July 2014

Accepted for publication 3 September 2014

Published 12 December 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 2549—2553


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Shu-Feng Zhou

Clémence Guenne,1 Jérôme Fayette,2 Alain Cosmidis,1 Carine Fuchsmann,1 Sophie Tartas,3 Véronique Favrel,4 Philippe Céruse1

1Head and Neck Surgery Department, Lyon-I University, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon Sud Hospital, Pierre-Bénite, France; 2Medicine Department, Lyon-I University, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France; 3Medical Oncology Department, Lyon-I University, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon Sud Hospital, 4Radiotherapy Department, Lyon-I University, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon Sud Hospital, Pierre-Bénite, France

Background: No specific study has focused on patients with metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) at diagnosis. Due to high response rates of induction chemotherapy in chemo-naïve patients with localized disease, their prognosis should be better than patients with recurrent disease.
Methods: From January 1, 2008 to July 1, 2012, we retrospectively collected all patients’ records with SCCHN diagnosed as metastatic. Patients, disease, treatment and its results were analyzed. Survival was calculated using the Kaplan–Meier method.
Results: Of the 749 new patients treated for SCCHN in our institution, 16 (2.1%) were metastatic at diagnosis, of whom five had cytological results to prove it. Six patients died before treatment or had palliative care and ten received initial chemotherapy and then surgery and/or radiotherapy according to the primary response. Four patients treated with first-line chemotherapy with docetaxel-5FU-cisplatin (TPF) showed a complete response of metastatic lesions allowing locoregional treatment. The overall survival at 1 year and 3 years was 50% and 24%, respectively. The median survival was 7 months (1–72 months). Seven patients (43.7%) had a higher survival at 12 months, including five (31.5%) who are still alive without recurrence with a mean follow-up of 30 months. There was a significant difference in overall survival (P<0.01) between patients who had chemotherapy with TPF versus other therapeutic protocols. The median survival of patients with lung metastases only was 15 months (1–72 months), significantly higher than that of patients with liver and/or bone localizations, which was 2 months (1–9 months).
Conclusion: Patients with metastatic SCCHN treated by TPF followed by multimodal treatment could achieve long survival.

Keywords: squamous cell carcinoma, head and neck, metastases, TPF, cetuximab

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