Weekly Low-Dose Docetaxel-Based Chemoradiotherapy for Locally Advanced Oropharyngeal or Hypopharyngeal Carcinoma: A Retrospective, Single-Institution Study

Junichi Fukada, Naoyuki Shigematsu, Atsuya Takeda, Toshio Ohashi, Toshiki Tomita, Akihiro Shiotani, Etsuo Kunieda, Osamu Kawaguchi, Masato Fujii, Atsushi Kubo

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Purpose: To retrospectively assess the efficacy, toxicity, and prognostic factors of weekly low-dose docetaxel-based chemoradiotherapy for Stage III/IV oropharyngeal or hypopharyngeal carcinoma. Methods and Materials: Between 2001 and 2005, 72 consecutive patients with locally advanced oropharyngeal or hypopharyngeal carcinoma were treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCR; radiation at 60 Gy plus weekly docetaxel [10 mg/m2]). Thirty of these patients also received neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC; docetaxel, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil) before concurrent chemoradiotherapy. Survival was calculated according to the Kaplan-Meier method. The prognostic factors were evaluated by univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: The median follow-up was 33 months, with overall survival, disease-free survival, and locoregional control rates at 3 years of 59%, 45%, and 52%, respectively. Thirty-six patients (50%) experienced more than one Grade 3 to 4 acute toxicity. Grade 3 mucositis occurred in 32 patients (44%), Grade 4 laryngeal edema in 1 (1%). Grade ≥3 severe hematologic toxicity was observed in only 2 patients (3%). Grade 3 dysphagia occurred as a late complication in 2 patients (3%). Multivariate analyses identified age, T stage, hemoglobin level, and completion of weekly docetaxel, but not NAC, as significant factors determining disease-free survival. Conclusions: Docetaxel is an active agent used in both concurrent and sequential chemoradiotherapy regimens. Mucositis was the major acute toxicity, but this was well tolerated in most subjects. Anemia was the most significant prognostic factor determining survival. Further studies are warranted to investigate the optimal protocol for integrating docetaxel into first-line chemoradiotherapy regimens, as well as the potential additive impact of NAC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-424
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Feb 1



  • Concurrent chemoradiotherapy
  • Docetaxel
  • Hypopharyngeal carcinoma
  • Oropharyngeal carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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